Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Order. I beg the right hon. Lady’s pardon. First, let us hear the Minister respond to the statement made by the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi). It was an important statement; it just did not contain a question.
You are, indeed, a friend of the House, Mr Speaker.
I have the utmost respect for the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi), with whom I have served on Select Committees, and I will try to help her out. I have seen some of her public criticisms in the past 24 hours. I know that she has been very consistent about this, but I am not just reading notes put before me; I am citing evidence from an expert working group. It really would come to something if Members suddenly started to second-guess expert, scientific and medical evidence. I am not just quoting what is before me. The review’s conclusions do not take away—I do not pretend for one minute that they do—from the very real suffering experienced by these families. This was a comprehensive, independent, scientific review of all the available evidence carried out by the best experts in a broad range of specialisms. Ministers are confident in the report and the review process, and the focus now must be on implementing the recommendations.
On Friday, two constituents came to my surgery to speak to me about exactly this. The mother had taken one of these pills and her daughter was born with deformities. This is not the Minister’s report—he is just giving his explanation and doing his job—but may I suggest that we have a proper Back-Bench debate in which we can exercise all these issues? With great respect to the working group, and having had some experience as a former public health Minister and knowing about contaminated blood, I am afraid to say that I smell something like a very large rat in all of this. I think that there have been cover-ups.