Response from Sir Brian Langstaff
At the start of the Infected Blood Inquiry the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, The Rt Hon David Lidington, gave me the assurance that the Inquiry would have at its disposal the financial resources it would need to get to the truth of what happened.
Nothing I have seen, and nothing that Mr Lidington has done, makes me doubt that this is still the case.
The suggestions made over the weekend by the Haemophilia society that the Inquiry is not being provided with sufficient funds are, therefore, without foundation.
The choice to have a single QC was not one I made through financial constraint but because it is the model which I believe best serves the Inquiry. Jenni Richards QC is ably served by a counsel team of 11 across the country, and they are supported in-house by 16 lawyers and 76 paralegals. It is also of note that aside from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, most other ongoing public inquiries also follow this model.
The psychological support being used by people affected by the work of the Inquiry has additional capacity should it be needed. Unlike other public inquiries underway, people can access psychological support outside the hearing venues. They can call during the hours advertised on the Inquiry’s website, or leave a message and receive a call back at a time convenient to them. The Inquiry keeps the level of this service under review to make sure it is sufficient and there is currently additional capacity should people want to use it.
Longer term support and counselling, professionally delivered, is the primary responsibility of the State – indeed, the adequacy of support by the State is one of the matters the Inquiry is looking into.
The Inquiry remains committed to its search for the truth and will report its findings without fear or favour.
Sir Brian Langstaff
Chair of the Inquiry
The original text of the letter from the Haemophilia Society can be found here.