Contaminated Blood: Open letter to Private Eye on the importance of accuracy and context when using key documents

Extract from Walford/Harley 15th Sept 1980 letter put into the public domain by Grayson and also in her awarded dissertation on Contaminated Blood (2006)/ The letter from the 1991 HIV litigation was not not shown to litigants at that time

Dear Heather,

Good to see another article in Private Eye titled Blood Feud and dated 3rd to 16th Feb 2023 and that you quoted from one of the letters I released into the public domain some years ago from the 1991 HIV litigation that was withheld from litigants and which I had returned to the Dept of Health via lawyers as they had destroyed their own copy. You will also recall it was I who revealed the 1982 Rizza and Bloom, “cheaper than chimps” letter regarding experimentation on PUPS again presented to ministers in face to face meeting in early 2000s. I also used it in our 2007 BBC Newsnight where I was the researcher where we got the late Haydn Lewis to make comment as he was under Bloom and at that time had never seen the letter.

The Diana Walford to Harley letter was in my dissertation in 2006, its titled Blood Products Laboratory Possible Take Over and dated 15th September 1980 but I obtained it in the early 2000s and also submitted it to the Infected Blood Inquiry see attached, page 17 in the Chronology, as well as the earlier Archer Inquiry and it is also quoted in my chapter 4, body of the dissertation. I featured it also in several letters to government as well as presenting it in person during meetings with ministers, early 2000s. They failed to act on it. This is why it is so important that the dates are known when campaigners FIRST highlighted evidence to government… so they can’t keep covering up.

As I said to Jenni Richards KC when I gave evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry, the documents are like old friends to me, I know them so well. Mr Snowden KC made great use of my documents in his final oral presentation, in fact my own lawyer joked that Snowden had referenced me more than his own client Mr Jason Evans who repeatedly plagiarises my work. Jason has conned so many people since he appeared in 2016 but the Inquiry can and do of course compare to the original dates of discovery (in terms of release into the public domain).

I have no problem with you using documents I released into the public domain but it would be helpful if you could actually highlight who put them there. Successive governments have tried to get away with murder because they were able to send Sir Brian Langstaff the copies I had returned (not the originals) and as the Dept of Health lawyer destroyed the original letters of return thought they had got away with it. Fortunately I kept copies. Unlike some campaigners I have never received funding for my multi awarded research but I do like to ensure a true history of the Contaminated Blood scandal is reported. Can you imagine how many haemophiliacs have died without justice since I FIRST presented the Beecham take over letter to government, over 20 years ago, it’s appalling! Colette was with me at those meetings!

I quote from my lawyers on the very last day of the Infected Blood Inquiry as follows:-

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.

Oral Closing

§  “…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]

Written Closing

§  “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”.[1] 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[2] and the third statement of Colette Wintle[3] are essential reading and set out the extensive history of the campaign;[4] 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,[5] 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]

[1] DHSC0015865

[2] WITN1055004

[3] WITN1056009

[4] Also summarised in the campaigning A-Z earlier in these submissions

[5] CGRA0000208

Its been a difficult few years as just before the Infected Blood Inquiry began, I was threatened that I would be cancelled out of the media due to my support for Palestinians and highlighting the abuses of apartheid Israel. Some of the same people have attacked me as falsely defamed others in the Labour Party including Jews that stand up for Palestinians and of course Jeremy Corbyn, cleared of antisemitism by Forde Report.

Kind Regards



Tainted blood scandal campaigners feel ‘excluded’ from Government meeting, amid fears Sue Gray exit could add to delays

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”.

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Contaminated Blood: Open letter to Private Eye on the importance of accuracy and context when using key documents

  1. Colette wintle says:

    I have sent my own email to Heather see below

    Dear Heather
    In response to your email exchange with Carol I wanted to clarify that I have worked alongside Carol for decades and I can confirm everything that she has said to you is fact. It has been extremely frustrating and stressful to see people like Jason Evans appear from nowhere and claim discovery of documents which I personally witnessed being presented by Carol to government ministers and MPs in meetings we attended decades ago. Despite him being politely asked to reference the documents to her as any decent journalist would do, he has repeatedly plagiarised her work claiming he found key evidence. In addition to this he has also put the Archer Report on his website without permission from us who until recently owned the official website domain.
    Carol and I have devoted our lives to fight for truth and justice despite suffering ill health and terrible personal losses so its galling that at the eleventh hour this man has appeared on the scene and caused so much stress and is determined to drown out our voices and take credit for work he has not done. We appreciate your continued reporting on the blood scandal but it is important to longstanding campaigners like Carol and I that journalists know who is responsible for research and putting evidence into the public domain.
    Kind regards
    Colette Wintle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s