Cabinet minister 'totally understands’ calls for Ken Clarke's peerage to be removed

Cabinet minister 'totally understands’ calls for Ken Clarke's peerage to be removed
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 21/05/2024

- 09:51

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride spoke to GB News

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said he “totally understands” why victims of the infected blood scandal are calling for former Health Secretary Lord Clarke to be stripped of his peerage.

Stride was asked if Clarke should be stripped of his peerage, after the report into the use of infected blood products found that he mis-led the public over the risk of blood transfusions.

He said on GB News: “Well, I totally understand that. There will be absolutely correctly very strong feelings about many aspects of the conclusions and what has been unearthed.

“Sir Brian has been very clear about the issue of cover up within the health service and amongst senior officials.

“Those are the things that need to be looked into, and in the course of time absolutely will be, I've no doubt about that.”

He added: “It's not a matter for government I think to opine on forfeiture of honours, there's a process that is there for that that is established outside of government.”

In a discussion with Isabel Webster and Ellie Costello, he continued: “Justice is following up robustly on the findings of the report.

“Now, in the case of corporate manslaughter and criminal charges and proceedings, then clearly that is a matter for the police and for the Crown Prosecution Service. These matters will be looked at very carefully, that I can absolutely assure you.

“I don't think it'd be right for me to start opining on various specific elements of that at this stage. They need to be looked into properly, but the matters that you've just raised really are matters for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.”

He was also asked if British politicians could face proceedings in the International Criminal Court for aiding and abetting Israel.

Stride said: “Well, I don't accept that. So we are here as a key ally of Israel but that isn't a commitment that isn't without bounds.

“We've been very clear to the Israelis, for example, on the importance of getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and that's why we've co-operated with the Americans on the building of that pier to bring aid in.”


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