SURVIVORS fear the contaminated blood inquiry will suffer similar delays to the Iraq War investigation, ministers have been warned.

The SNP’s Chris Stephens said those who may have a case to answer could cause delays via the Maxwellisation process, which enables those criticised to make representations prior to publication. Sir John Chilcot hoped to publish the Iraq Inquiry report within two years of starting work in 2009 but it finally emerged in 2016 following delays, which included the Maxwellisation process.

The NHS contaminated blood scandal saw thousands of people given blood products infected with hepatitis viruses and HIV during the 1970s and 1980s.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington offered assurances that the independent team leading the inquiry, which will examine the treatment of those infected and the impact it has had on their families, is aware of the “need for speed”.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Stephens said: “My constituent and many infected blood campaigners remain concerned that the inquiry will be delayed, like Chilcot, by those who may have a case to answer through the Maxwellisation process.

“So does [Lidington] agree that truth and justice should not be delayed?”