Scottish victims of the PIP breast implants scandal have vowed to continue their fight for answers after the Health Secretary failed to back their calls for a public inquiry into the scandal.
Flanked by Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jackie Baillie and Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm, the PIP Implants Scotland campaign group held talks with Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon to urge the Scottish Government to conduct a full independent public inquiry.
The campaigners set out a series of questions relating to the scandal, but despite some progress on these issues, there was no firm commitment from Nicola Sturgeon to hold a public inquiry in Scotland.
Spokeswoman for the PIP Implants Scotland campaign group, Trisha Devine, said:
“We would like to thank Nicola Sturgeon, Jackie Baillie and Malcolm Chisholm for arranging this meeting and hearing our concerns on this issue.
“We’ve been campaigning tirelessly and prepared a very strong case for an independent, transparent and comprehensive public inquiry into this scandal.
“We’re disappointed that Nicola Sturgeon has not committed the Scottish Government to a full public inquiry into the issue, but today’s discussion was productive and we look forward to continuing our conversation with the Health Secretary in the coming weeks. We would also hope to have an audience with Alex Salmond.
“We’ve been through hell ever since we found out about the dangerous implants inside us. It’s been a long and stressful struggle to get our voices heard at the Scottish Parliament, but we’ve stated our position and we hope we’re finally getting somewhere.
“We came asking the Scottish government to do its best to avoid a scandal like this ever happening again. We haven’t quite got there yet, but today has been helpful.
“We still want a public inquiry!
“Our campaign group is growing every day. More women are joining the cause to look for answers, support and advice, and we are committed to achieving justice for those harmed by the scandal. No women should suffer in silence.”
Lawyer for the victims and partner at Thompsons Solicitors, Patrick McGuire, commented:
“We’re very disappointed with the outcome of today’s meeting.
“We acknowledge the Health Secretary’s position on this at the moment, but it remains our firm conviction that there are very strong legal and moral arguments in support of a full public inquiry.
“The campaign group is a determined bunch, and our commitment to their cause is unflinching.” Following the meeting, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“Although the outcome of today’s discussion with Nicola Sturgeon is disappointing, the Cabinet Secretary is now fully appraised of the victims’ concerns and the critical questions that remain outstanding following the UK Government’s official reports into the scandal.
“With this knowledge it is the Scottish Government’s duty to engage directly with PIP victims to demonstrate their commitment to their welfare.
“A public inquiry may not be forthcoming, however the book is not closed. The women of the PIP campaign group have a firm resolve to redouble their efforts to press for answers, and they will not be ignored.”
Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm commented:
“The campaigners put forward a very convincing argument in favour of a full public inquiry into the PIP scandal and in my opinion there is a clear need for this to take place.
“This is a serious Scottish public health issue and there is a genuine concern that such a scandal may happen again if the campaign group’s questions are not addressed.”