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Thalidomide - The Parliamentary Campaign gathers steam


11th February 2004

The first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Thalidomide Conservative MP for Huntingdon, was held yesterday at the House of Commons.

The first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Thalidomide, hosted by Chairman Candy Atherton MP, Labour MP for Falmouth and Cambourne, and Vice Chairman, Jonathan Djanogly MP, Conservative MP for Huntingdon, was held yesterday at the House of Commons.

Present at the meeting were 40 MP's and Thalidomide victims, some of whom had travelled from Devon, Liverpool and Middlesborough.

The meeting heard from Dr Martin Johnson, Director of the Thalidomide Trust, on tax issues affecting the Trust, from Ruth Daniels, a Thalidomide Trust Volunteer and beneficiary, on living with Thalidomide and problems with welfare benefits and from Dr Claus Newman, Medical Adviser to the Trust on the lack on medical resource allocated to Thalidomide victims.

Jonathan Djanogly summed up at the end of the meeting, noting:

"The challenges facing the victims of Thalidomide are, as beneficiaries approach middle age, becoming ever more pressing. The need for the Government to provide tax exemption to payments made to beneficiaries by the Trust remains a core campaigning issue. But as we heard today, there are many other issues, from the health provision available to the payment of benefits - where we believe much yet needs to be done to aid the victims of this ongoing tradegy. I am delighted that 100 Members of Parliament have now joined the All Party Parliamentary Group and over the coming months we shall be making the case for fair treatment for the surviving beneficiaries."



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