Susanna Reid Infuriates Minister By Accusing Government Of 'Stonewalling' Over Blood Scandal

Susanna Reid frustrated a minister on the broadcast round this morning
Susanna Reid frustrated a minister on the broadcast round this morning ITV's Good Morning Britain

ITV’sSusanna Reid skewered a minister over the infected blood scandal as the government is still yet to explain how it will compensate the victims.

Minister for the cabinet office, John Glen, was speaking to journalists shortly before the Infected Blood Inquiry was due to release its final report on the scandal after seven years of investigation.

Thousands of those infected with contaminated blood products between 1970 and 1991 are hoping this means they will now receive a government apology and some compensation.

So this morning, Reid asked Glen if the government will “go after” the pharmaceutical companies responsible for manufacturing the contaminated blood.

He said: “Well, it’s difficult to know what we’re going to do as we haven’t got the report yet.”

Reid pointed out: “It was a year ago that the inquiry made its recommendations for compensation.”

He said there are “a wide range of costs” which are being considered.

But Reid replied: “Sorry, Mr Glen, I know that you’re in a slightly tricky situation because you’re waiting for the inquiry, but you are here this morning doing interviews.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable for viewers or those who have suffered for you to simply stonewall what you’re going to do.”

“I am not stonewalling,” Glen replied angrily. “I sat down in meetings – 18 meetings – over the last 2 weeks, and every single victim, one who spent the hour consuming seven pills, asking us not to address compensation today, because this was their day, the day of the inquiry.

“That is what I am trying to honour, and I will do so,” he insisted.

But Reid said Good Morning Britain had spoken to other victims who want to know about compensation, adding: “My question is simply, that is a massive bill for you as a government to stump up.

“There are people who were responsible for manufacturing those blood products.

“Surely it is reasonable to have a view on whether you would ask them to alleviate the trauma of those victims by footing the bill?”

Glen admitted that was a “perfectly reasonable question”, but added:  “But it is also reasonable, given that the report hasn’t been published yet, for me as a government minister to read that carefully before I reflect on actions are possible.”