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Infected Blood Scandal Compensation

The final report of the public inquiry into the Infected Blood Scandal was due to be published just as this went to press. For twenty years from the 1970s to early 90s people were given blood transfusions that had not been properly screened for deadly viruses including HIV and Hepatitis C. About 30,000 people became infected and over 3,000 have since died, with thousands more seeing their lives and their families’ lives destroyed. Like most MPs I’ve been supporting constituents who for years were told their infections were down to their own “lifestyle” even after the NHS knew this was untrue. The public inquiry has already recommended that the victims and their families should be compensated. The question now is just how high up the denials and cover-ups went. The loss of lives make it one of the biggest scandals in NHS history. No amount of money can buy back the additional years of suffering for victims and families caused by yet another attempt to blame victims for the failings of government agencies.


I spoke in a very well attended debate last week calling on the Government to set up an emergency humanitarian visa scheme for people fleeing Gaza who have close family ties to the UK. I quoted the case of one of my constituents whose 79-year-old mum recently managed to get across the border but is now stranded in Egypt with no family and no-one to support her. Meanwhile in Scotland she has 2 daughters who have each given decades of service to our NHS and whose only wish is to be allowed to bring their mum here so they can look after her. They keep asking me why we can’t have a support scheme similar to the one we had for Ukrainian refugees and I can only tell them I can see no reason whatsoever. About 35,000 people have been killed in Gaza including about 15,000 children. Some of these lives would have been saved if the UK government hadn’t chosen to leave them in Gaza.


Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative held a very successful and sun soaked open day recently. It was great to catch up with their plans for this year as well as speaking to the various community organisations and others who attended.


Another sunny visit was when I presented St Margaret’s Church in Woodside with a copy of an “Early Day Motion” I had tabled in Parliament to celebrate their 70th anniversary. I also had a chance to see all the work they’ve been doing to create a community garden that everyone is welcome to use if they just need a wee bit of peace and quiet.


At a regular meeting with our local branch of the National Union of Farmers in Scotland they asked me to highlight once again the carnage that can be caused even by a seemingly well behaved dog if it gets in amongst a flock of sheep. A single attack can cost a farmer thousands of pounds and cause indescribable injuries to sheep and lambs. Please keep your dog on a lead if there’s any possibility there may be sheep around; this includes seemingly “uncultivated” places such as the Lomond Hills that are often used for grazing.

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