Headlines from award winning Bad Blood campaign set up jointly with Carol Grayson, her husband Peter and the Newcastle Journal that utilized many of the documents Grayson discovered through her research, later falsely claimed by Jason Evans
It is interesting to note that Bell Yard Communications, London, that are named on Collins Law solicitors’ website as Press Contacts PR regarding publicity for those infected and affected by the Contaminated Blood scandal also do some joint work with legal firm Mishcon de Raya, well know to haemophiliacs who were former Macfarlane Trust registrants.
During the 1970s and 80s, thousands of UK haemophiliacs with an inherited bleeding disorder became infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses through their factor concentrate treatment. Much of this treatment was manufactured using plasma sourced from “high-risk” paid donors such as prisoners, gay men, sex workers and “skid -row” donors living on the streets.
The contacts given for Bell Yard on Collins website are Melanie Riley and Louise Beeson, see below
When Grayson, the author of this blog inquired as to why Bell Yard PR promoted Jason Evans, son of a haemophiliac who died as a result of receiving contaminated blood and a client of Collins, she was promptly blocked. Evans has repeatedly plagiarized her work and failed to reference Grayson. He has used the key documents she discovered in the late 90s/early 2000s falsely claiming to the media he discovered them from 2017 onwards.
Russell Mishcon of Mishcon de Raya acted as Trustee of the Macfarlane Trust 2006-14 and Trustee of the Eileen Trust 2007-18. The Macfarlane Trust was described as,
“a discretionary grant making Trust that was set up and is wholy funded by the Department of Health to alleviate the financial needs of those haemophiliacs infected with HIV through contaminated NHS blood products who are in need of assistance or the needy spouses, parents, children or other dependants of those infected who are living or who have died.”
Mishcon gave evidence at the Infected Blood Inquiry set up in 2018 and chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff to investigate how haemophiliacs came to be infected with blood borne viruses through their factor concentrate treatment. (The Inquiry also investigates those infected via whole blood, that are separate cases to haemophilia cases). Mishcon’s evidence can be read here,
Russell Mishcon is the son of the late Labour peer Lord Mishcon, the following gives some background, Lord Mishcon,
was elected a Labour member of Lambeth Borough Council in 1945, becoming the youngest chairman of London County Council in 1954.
While he loved local government because it involved doing things for people ‘on the ground’, he also had ambitions to be an MP, standing four times without success. However, among his many contributions to public policy was his membership of the historic Wolfenden Committee, which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
In 1978, he was made a life peer – Baron Mishcon of Lambeth – by the Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan. He was the chief Labour spokesman on home affairs from 1983 to1990. For the next two years, he was shadow Lord Chancellor and sat on the House of Lords’ select committee on medical ethics. He stood down in 1992, when he was succeeded by Lord Irvine of Lairg, who went on to become Lord Chancellor when Labour won the 1997 general election.
Lord Mishcon was also deeply committed to the Jewish cause. A former president of the Association of Jewish Youth, he was vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1967 to 1973. He was also chairman of the Institute of Jewish Studies, University College, London, and, as a member of the Council of Christians and Jews, he worked hard at developing understanding between the two faiths.
A respected voice in Israel, he protested strongly over the Shabra and Shatila massacres in Beirut in 1982. In later years, he came to play a significant role in what became the Jordan-Israel peace treaty of 1994. King Hussein of Jordan and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s foreign minister, held several private meetings at Lord Mishcon’s country house in England. His unstinting efforts were rewarded with the Star of Jordan (First Class), presented to him by King Hussein in 1995.
Prior to the Inquiry commencing, Grayson whose husband and brother in law died as a result of receiving infected blood products (HIV, hepatitis viruses) was threatened by pro Zionists with being cancelled out of her own campaign history on Contaminated Blood and mainstream media due to her support for the human rights of Palestinians and challenging the actions of apartheid Israel.
Bell Yard posted the following in relation to working with Mishcon de Raya,
Bell Yard launches HIGA with Mishcon as legal advisers
Leading litigation law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP (“Mishcon”), has agreed to advise HIGA on the parameters of bringing a collective group action against a range of insurers. Mishcon has secured external funding to cover the policy review exercise and is working with Philip Edey QC, of Twenty Essex Chambers.
Bell Yard also advertised, Mishcon Advances Group Claim for Dental Practices, a project on which Bell Yard and Mishcon de Raya appear to be working together. See Notes to Editors Section…
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Mishcon de Reya’s Insurance team has already undertaken to advise on three separate claims relating to insurers’ refusal to honour claims under their business interruption policies – the insurers concerned are Hiscox, Aviva and QBE.
Cost: There is no cost to dental businesses to participate at this stage. If a claim is progressed and is successful, the third party funder is paid by taking an agreed deduction from any compensation secured at the end of the litigation. Most reassuringly, if the claim is unsuccessful, the litigation funder covers all legal expenses, so there is very limited financial risk to Group members.
Claim size: There is no current limit on the number of potential participants in a group claim – interested parties should simply indicate their interest to Mishcon de Reya by 19 June 2020.
Process: Mishcon de Reya will respond to each interested business seeking their formal instruction (with no obligation on fees) setting out the terms on which any litigation would proceed. All the costs of litigation are met by the funder (including all legal fees). The funder receives its remuneration by way of a percentage of the funds awarded following a successful claim.
About Bell Yard: Bell Yard Communications is advising on the creation of this litigation group. We are a boutique London-based specialist litigation and legal PR agency, founded in 2002. Bell Yard has been top ranked (Band 1) by Chambers’ Litigation Support Guide every year since the guide’s formation for our litigation PR expertise.
About Mishcon de Reya: the firm has acted on a number of group actions including but not limited to: Taxi drivers against Uber, shareholders against RBS, Royal Mail (tax litigation) and an action against Google. Mishcon is also currently advising the Hiscox Action Group and HIGA (the Hospitality Insurance Group Action).
Several years ago, Grayson wrote to Russell Mishcon in his role as trustee of the Macfarlane Trust in 2011 over inequalities in payments to widows. She was concerned that the monthly money she received as the widow of a haemophiliac was going down instead of up and she was on a much lower income than some other widows receiving state benefits. Grayson repeatedly asked the Trust for a recalculation believing she had been wrongly assessed.
She was informed that her letter had been sent to the NSSC and Mishcon was charged with writing a response, in a rather strange response which appeared to misunderstand her concerns entirely over the then alleged miscalulation of her monthly payments, he wrote,
We all felt it was an excellent letter, which argued your case eloquently and forcefully. However tghe Macfarlane Trust is not, and cannot be a compensatory body, and, therefore, cannot in isolation, take account of an individual’s losses. It is a charity bound by charity law, which means that it has to take into account financial need. Accordingly, as trustees, we have a duty to put in place policies, intended to be as fair as possible, to alleviate financial need on a current and ongoing basis, as far as the funds provided us to allow.
In 2017, there were concerns over the future of the Macfarlane Trust at that time but letters from registrants including Grayson highlighting their fears to the then CEO Jan Barlow went unanswered. In 2018, the Macfarlane Trust was wound up and the remaining monies transferred to the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading sexual health charity in a move heavily criticised by many Macfarlane Trust registrants who feel that their voices are being “cancelled out”. Barlow will likely have had links to THT going back years when she was Chief Executive of Brook, the sexual health charity for young people and both were often quoted in the same media articles, one example as follows:-
Brown cuts VAT on contraceptives (BBC, 22nd March 2006)
Jan Barlow, chief executive of Brook – the sexual health charity for young people, welcomed the announcement saying condoms and other forms of contraception are a necessity, not a luxury.
“Cutting VAT will not only benefit the people left with some extra change in their pockets, it will also help services such as Brook’s which buy contraception in bulk to give away to young people who can’t afford to pay for it.
“This move is a valuable contribution towards improving Britain’s sexual health.”
HIV/Aids charity Terrence Higgins Trust, Labour Students and The National Union of Students also welcomed the VAT reduction.
The organisations have been working together to campaign for this reduction to be made and are pleased to see the government making sexual health a priority.
Head of policy at Terrence Higgins Trust Lisa Power said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the government have seen sense and reduced VAT on condoms.
“It’s fantastic to get a positive result for this campaign which we have been working on for several years.
“If we are to reduce the ever increasing rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in the UK, they are a necessity.”
BBC NEWS | Health | Brown cuts VAT on contraceptives
Government lied saying all Trust beneficiaries had been consulted on the scrapping of the Macfarlane Trust but this was not the case. Several groups of long standing campaigners some of whom had sat on the Macfarlane Joint Partnership Group were deliberately excluded from a meeting with a government appointed facilitator set up to discuss the proposed changes. A questionnaire sent out to elecit opinions of registrants of Macfarlane was not received by some of those infected and affected until AFTER the closing submission date.
Haemophiliacs have repeatedly raised concerns including with the Infected Blood Inquiry that this winding up of the Macfarlane Trust was unethical, undemocratic, and allegedly illegal. The lawyers that had acted for haemophiliacs in the late 1980s/early 1990s on the HIV litigation class action only found out about the closure from their old clients who had no one to advise them regarding the move.
Grayson recalls sitting in a Macfarlane Joint Partnership Group meeting some years ago when discussions took place to “buy out” registrants with a lump sum payment and cease monthly payments. The legal advice opposed this and registrants were reassured that monthly payments were “for life” and the Trust and payments would remain until the last infected haemophiliacs and affected partners remained alive.
Years after Grayson wrote to Mishcon, she proved that the Macfarlane Trust had made a serious error regarding her monthly payments with the help of Milners solicitors highlighting that the Macfarlane Trust had wrongly means tested the disability part of benefits. When English Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) took over regular payments to haemophiliacs and their partners, she received an apology and back pay owed to her from the time they were appointed. However, Grayson was informed by the Cabinet Office that she should contact the Terrence Higgins Trust that had taken over Macfarlane Trust monies for the back pay relating to previous years.
So far THT have denied responsibility and failed to help her receive the money owed. Grayson suffered great distress and financial difficulty during the years of under payment and was forced into debt due to the under payment. THT have ironically managed to find money to fund her plagiarist Jason Evans to carry out research but not for Grayson’s back money. They refuse to answer as to how much Evans and his group Factor 8 are being funded and what research he is carrying out despite letters sent to THT from the national Haemophilia Society and several former beneficiaries of the Macfarlane Trust now registered with THT. Grayson’s own letters and most of her written questions have gone unanswered.
She is now blocked from contacting THT after questioning the appointment of Evans who set up FAactor 8 Group and the Tender process and whether there was a diverse representation of persons that applied alongside Evans to carry out research or whether only one candidate (who claims he is from a Jewish background on his video) was targeted and considered? Was the funding also EQUALLY opened up to others from Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist backgrounds too for example. Was it open to women and persons with disabilities and those actually infected with HIV? There is reason to believe only one person was considered, Jason Evans my plagiarist, but that will be made public shortly.
It is noted that Mishcon de Raya acted for litigants in the following case,
Lecturers threaten to sue union over Israel boycott
UCU members demand repayment of their funds used in call to sever links with Israeli academics
Back to Bell Yard, it is difficult to understand why this company would want to associate with a plagiarist who gives false Timelines of discovery to the media and fails to reference Grayson who discovered, saved and provided many key and incriminating documents to the Infected Blood Inquiry in addition to writing a dissertation on Contaminated Blood in 2006 for which she received the ESRC Michael Young Prize. Grayson was granted separate legal representation to the four original firms of solicitors by Sir Brian Langstaff due to a “conflict of interest” in relation to plagiarism of her work. Milners were appointed to the Inquiry to act for her and her campaign colleague Colette Wintle to act for them on the special status of haemophiliacs and with regard to plagiarism of Grayson’s research. She was also given a special arrangement with the Inquiry to directly submitted her scanned evidence to investigators and was informed she had the largest team assigned to her due to the amount of documents accumulated.
In final written and oral submissions to the Infected Blood Inquiry, Milners solicitors and Sam Stein acting for Grayson and Wintle highlighted Grayson’s critique of the government’s so called “definitive” report and its withdrawal by government on her evidence. They also praise the work of these 2 long standing campaigners.
- “…That much was admitted in the 2007 Self-Sufficiency Report, since withdrawn as a result of the compelling critique in the dissertation of our client, Carol Grayson” [Transcript 03/02/2023 Pg53, L19-22]
- “The incredible campaigning work of Carol Grayson and her husband Pete Longstaff, a severe haemophiliac who died of his infections, should be recognised by us all. Carol and Pete did everything possible to bring this dark passage of history to light. Ms Wintle joined with Carol and, together, their campaigning became their jobs, unfunded. The basics of life and healthcare subjugated to the campaign.” [Pg72, L3-10]
- “Carol and Colette’s work has been foundational. Other campaigners and this Inquiry have followed in the path they worked so hard to forge. They were not the only campaigners. But, as we have heard from the evidence, from politicians, they were prolific and constant. In the history of this scandal, Carol Grayson’s name and Colette Wintle’s name should be remembered, acknowledged and honoured…” [Pg73, L2-9]
- “Ms Grayson played a pivotal role in ensuring that documents were preserved and that justice was done: despite the DoH’s failings in destroying documentation, Ms Grayson and her solicitors had held on to copies of the missing documentation, and Ms Grayson notified the DoH and facilitated their return to the Department. In a letter from Ms Grayson’s solicitors, Blackett Hart and Pratt (BHP), to the Treasury Solicitor dated 7 February 2006, BHP explained that it had retained copies of documentation from the HIV litigation, and that it intended to return the documents to the DoH in case the copies held by BHP were of missing or destroyed documents. BHP sought an assurance that the documents “will be preserved pending any request for access to them by Mrs Grayson, or such other persons as may have an interest in them”. As BHP explained, this letter and suggestion was instigated entirely by Ms Grayson.” [Pg169, §505]
- “The Inquiry heard powerful and moving evidence from those who have been campaigning for three decades. Those campaigners’ lives have been consumed by their fight for truth and justice. To try to summarise their efforts in these closing submissions would do them a disservice. Instead, we ask the Inquiry to revisit our clients’ witness statements and oral testimony. The third statement of Carol Grayson and the third statement of Colette Wintle are essential reading and set out the extensive history of the campaign; indeed their efforts were recognised by Lord Morris in the House of Lords when he spoke of them both as belonging in a “Gallery of Heroines” who had campaigned tirelessly” [Pg185, §540}
- “One of the great successes of the campaign has been to recover and uncover a vast amount of documentation. Much of that success is attributable to Carol Grayson who, as explained earlier in these submissions, identified that Blackett Hart and Pratt may have held copies of documents destroyed by the Department of Health, and directed their return on the proviso that they would be held securely and made available for public access” [Pg189, §555]
- “It remains unsatisfactory that there is nothing at Kew to denote the struggle to preserve the documents which now reside there. The uninitiated could easily believe that the papers relevant to the infected blood scandal were transferred as a matter of routine, rather than as the result of a decade long fight. The National Archives have thus far refused requests to add a history page to the collection, highlighting the role of Ms Grayson and certain parliamentarians in preserving the documents. Our clients consider this to be wrong: this is an important piece of history, and one which should be learnt from so that it can never be repeated” [Pg190, §558]
- “Carol Grayson was incredulous at the report’s content and, despite being in the depths of grief over the death of her husband, she was determined to make use of her and Pete’s experiences. In Chapter 4 of her seminal dissertation, Carol carefully, comprehensively, and with devastating efficacy, deconstructed the Self-Sufficiency report. Her dissertation was so effective that it ultimately lead to the report’s withdrawal” [Pg192, §562]
- “Without Carol’s detailed research, hard work, and dogged determination, it is entirely plausible that Government might still now be placing reliance on that report, which was necessarily an incomplete account, having been prepared without the benefit of the documents returned by Carol, through Blackett Hart and Pratt…” [Pg192, §563]
 Also summarised in the campaigning A-Z earlier in these submissions
Jesmond contaminated blood scandal campaigner praised for ‘selfless’ fight for justice
Law firm Milners have highlighted decades of research and activism from Carol Grayson as ‘pivotal’ in the fight for justice for victims
Blood scandal campaigners are ‘right to be angry’ says top barrister warning wrongdoing medics should face criminal courts
Sam Stein KC hit out at the Government and doctors who treated patients without their consent in a moving closing address to the Infected Blood Inquiry.
‘They made a series of choices’: Newcastle Infected Blood campaigner gives harrowing evidence at public inquiry
Carol Grayson has been waiting decades for the Government to listen to her over the scandal that killed her husband and brother-in-law.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”