LONDON — Lord Kenneth CLARKE, who was a Thatcher Government Conservative Minister of State for Health (1982-85), Secretary of State for Health (1988-90), was in the witness box at the Infected Blood Inquiry yesterday.
Ken CLARKE has been criticised by families affected by the infected blood inquiry for displaying “contempt” in his evidence after he showed a reluctance to answer questions.
Lord Clarke appeared to become irritated with the level of detail being examined by the lead counsel, Jenni Richards QC.
At one point, he asked: “Why do we have to go through such meticulous detail through who said what when, when did he change his mind?” He added that it was “interesting” but “pretty pointless”.
Earlier he said he was not responsible for blood products during the early days of the infected blood scandal despite being a health minister at the time. He said he was dealing with policies such as closing “old Victorian asylums” or getting rid of “old geriatric hospitals”.
“I didn’t call meetings on it. I was never the minister directly responsible for blood products. I was never asked to take a decision on blood products. I never intervened to take a decision on blood products. I did intervene or get involved in discussions a bit when I wanted to be reassured.”
Judge Sir Brian Langstaff is running this inquiry and determines the questioning, not Lord Clarke!
Read more of Sarah Marsh’s story in The Guardian:
Let all politicians’ heads roll for their dereliction of duty.
Australia’s politicians? You’re next.