NEW evidence reveals the Government tried to avoid accepting responsibility for the blood contamination scandal that caused the deaths of more than 2,400 people, campaigners have claimed.

Previously unseen cabinet papers from 1987 show senior ministers pursued a 'deliberate policy' of denying it was at fault despite privately acknowledging allegations would be 'hard to refute convincingly'.

Patients at the Oxford Haemophilia Centre at the Churchill Hospital in Headington were among about 7,500 people infected with hepatitis C and HIV from tainted blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

The papers show the Government tried to cover up its involvement according to one of the victims, 46-year-old Neil Weller, of Southmoor, near Abingdon.

The father-of-three said: "This highlights what we have known for years.

"They did know about it but swept it under the carpet as if we didn't matter.

"They thought we would just go away and give up on it and it would be forgotten.

"But we are getting stronger and stronger in our desire to oust the truth.

"More and more evidence like this is coming to light."

The cabinet papers were found by campaigner Jason Evans, whose father Jonathan was infected with both HIV and Hepatitis C and died in 1993.

The papers were put to a committee which included key members of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, including John Major and Kenneth Clarke, and state denial of responsibility for the scandal are unlikely to be believed.

The note in the document goes on to talk about limiting financial responsibility while not accepting responsibility.

Although hailing the discovery, Mr Weller expressed frustration that it is still up to campaigners to expose the truth, while plans for a public inquiry into the scandal appear to have stalled.

Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a full inquiry in July but the terms of reference have still not been agreed, timings have not been confirmed and a chairman is yet to be appointed.

Mr Weller said: "It's a credit to the hard graft of Jason and others that this has come out.

"But why are we still having to do all the leg work on this?

"We need clarity and we need answers.

"But many of us are having to live with the effects of what happened at the same time.

"It should be the work of the inquiry to uncover the truth for us.

"We want it sorted now, there are too many people who have died before everything has come out."

Mr Weller's MP, Layla Moran, said she shared his frustrations at the lack of progress on the inquiry and pledged to 'keep up the fight' in parliament on his behalf.

The Liberal Democrat, who spoke during a parliamentary debate on the scandal over the summer, said: "I have called for the full strength of the law to be brought to bear on anyone involved, even if they were in Government at the time.

"I am now working on a cross-party basis to make sure that the Department for Health has no role in investigating itself, that the inquiry must investigate allegations of a criminal cover-up and to make sure that their families can have confidence in the leadership of the inquiry.”

The Department of Health said it could not comment on the actions of former governments or ministers but a spokesman called the scandal a 'appalling tragedy which should simply never have happened' and said the 'nature of the inquiry will be announced in due course.'