Infected blood inquiry: Another state failure – will things ever change?

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As the then Prime Minister David Cameron apologises for the events on Bloody Sunday in 1972, a huge cheer erupts.

Mr, now Lord, Cameron said the government was “deeply sorry” after a public inquiry unequivocally blamed the British Army for one of the most controversial days in Northern Ireland’s history, when 13 civil rights marchers were shot dead and 15 others were wounded.

For 38 years, so many had waited for those words.

Obfuscation, delay and denials, until finally the truth emerged.

Next, there is the ongoing Post Office Inquiry.

Obfuscation, delay and denials, until finally the truth is beginning to emerge.

And then the long-running campaign for the truth and justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

Andy Burnham, who is now the Mayor of Greater Manchester and is a former health secretary, finds his biography taking in two of these injustices.

I asked him why he had failed to do what Theresa May was later to do – and set up an independent inquiry into the infected blood scandal.

“I always ask questions of myself – I said to campaigners, I’m sorry I couldn’t do more, more quickly.

“I wasn’t aware this was a cover-up when I was in the Department of Health.

“I was told at the time no-one was knowingly given unsafe products, but that was a lie. That was the official line and it was a lie.”

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