A MOTHER whose seven-year-old son died 27 years ago, a victim of the UK’s tainted blood scandal, hailed the announcement of a public inquiry into the matter as “amazing.”

Janet Smith, of Alway, Newport, said pressure had built for an inquiry in recent months, but given previous resistance to the demand, today's announcement came as a surprise.

“We and many, many others have been waiting decades for this. It is amazing the Government is now backing down,” she said.

Mrs Smith and husband Colin’s son - also called Colin - died of Aids in 1990, having received contaminated blood products several years earlier to treat his haemophilia.

It was later discovered that he contracted HIV and hepatitis C after being given the clotting protein Factor VIII, which had come from a prisoner in an American jail.

Colin’s death is among 2,400 in the UK believed to be as a result of the scandal.

“Everybody is very emotional because we didn’t think this would ever happen. It’s overwhelming,” said Mrs Smith.

“We’ve shed tears of sadness, but tears of joy as well. This is a big milestone.”

She praised the efforts of Jason Evans, of Coventry - whose father died in the 1990s, after contracting HIV while being treated for haemophilia - who has been pursuing a case of negligence against the Government.

And she thanked the Tainted Blood campaign for its support.

“This has been a long and at times very lonely road, but this is the chance to get to the bottom of what happened - why so many died, and why blood products were given to people after it was known there was contaminated blood out there,” said Mrs Smith.

Newport East MP Jessica Morden , who has backed calls for a public inquiry, told the House of Commons yesterday that blood products were “supplied by profit-making US companies”.

“Nothing can bring back Colin and the others, but the public inquiry needs to get it right this time because families have been through so much over the years, and we cannot let them down again,” she said.