THE PARENTS of a seven-year-old boy from Newport who died as a result of the infected blood scandal have expressed their disappointment after it was announced the publication of an inquiry report has been delayed again.

Colin and Janet Smith lost their son Colin in 1990 after he contracted Aids from infected blood he had been given as a baby to treat his haemophilia.

South Wales Argus: Colin and Janet Smith lost their son, also named Colin, in the UK contaminated blood scandalMrs Smith has maintained that their determination to get justice is all about keeping their son's memory alive, and Mr Smith has said he "just want [s] justice". 

Mr Smith said: "Obviously we were disappointed to hear the news, but we do understand the reasons behind it. 

"This is a massive scale inquiry, so we know they have to do it correctly and give everyone a chance to respond."

For the couple, who have been fighting for more than 30 years, "a few months won't make a difference" as long as "the outcome is what we want". 

Mr Smith says the government had known for years before Colin's death about the dangers of infected blood and so need to take the responsibility for what has happened. 

South Wales Argus: Colin died from AIDS contracted from infected blood aged seven in 1990Colin died from AIDS contracted from infected blood aged seven in 1990 (Image: Colin & Janet Smith)He added: "The saddest thing about all this is people will continue to die in the next few months, so there will be more people and families affected by this whole situation that won't live to see the final outcome." 

Chairman of the Infected Blood Inquiry Sir Brian Langstaff, has apologised after being forced to push back the final publication of the inquiry's report from March to May this year, after it had already been delayed from autumn last year. 

He said: “I am acutely aware of the need for the report to be available as soon as possible.

“When I reviewed the plans for publication, I nonetheless had to accept that a limited amount of further time is needed to publish a report of this gravity and do justice to what has happened.”

In December, the Smiths were "elated" when Parliament voted to speed up the compensation payment scheme to bereaved families following the inquiry being set up in 2017, which remains Sir Langstaff's "principal recommendation". 

Sir Langstaff added: “No-one should be in any doubt about the serious nature of the failings over more than six decades that have led to catastrophic loss of life and compounded suffering.”

South Wales Argus: Janet Smith says her fight has been all about keeping her son's memory aliveJanet Smith says her fight has been all about keeping her son's memory alive (Image: Colin & Janet Smith)

Newport East MP Jessica Morden, who has been working with the Smith family since the inquiry's creation, believes "the government just need to get on with it".

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, she said: "Every week, victims of the infected blood scandal will die as we wait for the final report.

"Why should constituents have to wait any longer for the compensation scheme?

"It is complex, but the Government have been repeatedly challenged with getting on with this and are still not doing it. We need it urgently."

The inquiry's final report is now set to be published on May 20, 2024.