Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

Since the recommendations of the infected blood inquiry were announced, another 82 victims of the scandal have sadly died. I note what the Minister said about the appointment of Sir Jonathan Montgomery as chair of the experts offering technical advice on the compensation talks, but may I express the anger of one of my constituents, who is a victim of the scandal, about that appointment? He has asked me to ask: what confidence can victims have in the compensation process when an individual who is linked to pharmaceutical firm Bayer—a company that supplied infected blood—and chairs the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was at the epicentre of the scandal, is advising the Cabinet Office?

John Glen The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. The appointment of Sir Jonathan Montgomery was compliant with all the processes, similar to those used for the appointment of Sir Robert Francis and others. I recognise the concern expressed around Jonathan’s involvement with Bayer. That ceased at the end of October last year. He was part of an independent advisory group—not making executive decisions—for the pharmaceutical company. In the other place, the noble Baroness Brinton described Sir Jonathan as a “well-respected ethicist”. He has been asked not for further recommendations, but to advise the Government on the implementation of the recommendations made in the report. I hope that is helpful.

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