THE GOVERNMENT has announced the man who will lead the public inquiry into the infected blood scandal. 

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, today announced that Sir Brian Langstaff will serve as the inquiry's chairman. 

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.

Mr Justice Langstaff will be the full time chairman of the inquiry from May 1 following his retirement from the High Court.

In advance of this, he will be consulting further with people affected, their families and other stakeholders on the inquiry’s terms of reference.

He said: "Providing infected blood and plasma products to patients truly deserves to be called a major scandal. I intend through this Inquiry to be able to provide both some well-needed answers to the victims and their families, and recommend steps to ensure that its like will never happen again.

"Nothing less than a thorough examination of the evidence will suffice: and the process needs to lead to a full report within the shortest timescales that such thoroughness can accommodate.

"Once the further consultation on the terms of reference has taken place, the Minister for the Cabinet Office will confirm the final terms to the House of Commons."

Mr Lidington added: "The infected blood scandal of the 1970s and 80s is a tragedy that should never have happened. We must now ensure it can never happen again.

"I am determined that this independent Inquiry will give victims and their families the answers they have spent decades waiting for.

"I want to ensure the Inquiry is now established as quickly as possible. I thank Justice Langstaff for agreeing to lead this important work and Government will provide him with all the support he needs."