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In June 2022, Kidus, 30, from Eritrea, came to the UK in a small boat with around two dozen other people.

He still has the video on his phone showing everyone – including some women and children – clinging on to the dinghy wearing identical red lifejackets.

Back then, the government had already announced plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Despite being sent a letter warning he’s being considered for removal, he’s never thought it could really happen until now.

Kidus – not his real name – says before he left France, one of the people smugglers reassured him the government wouldn’t go through with it: the Rwanda policy simply wouldn’t affect him.

But earlier this month, one of his friends from Eritrea, who was on the same boat across the Channel, was detained when attending a routine appointment with the Home Office at a site in Liverpool.

As a result, Kidus is now considering not going to his next fortnightly meeting, even though attending the appointments is a condition of his immigration bail.

“If I didn’t go there, I know they’ll drop my case,” he tells us, concerned his asylum application will be cancelled.

But he adds: “If I go I know they will detain me. So, I’m just confused what I’m going to do.”

Kidus says he fears being deported to Rwanda
Kidus says he fears being deported to Rwanda

A document drawn up by Home Office officials revealed only 2,143 of the 5,700 asylum seekers Rwanda has agreed to accept actually attend check-ins and “can be located for detention”.

If people like Kidus stop attending, they will join the remaining 3,557 migrants who are currently missing.

The shared house Kidus lives in is paid for by the Home Office – so his address makes it almost impossible to disappear. But this means he knows he could be detained at any time.

“I’m always just frightened here. So, they might come at night or day and I’m always thinking that they’ll come and they’ll take me to detention. I’m not feeling safe here,” he says.

Kidus has stopped attending college where he was learning English and carries the phone numbers of legal firms with him at all times.

He speaks to his friend on the phone – who is now being held in a detention centre near Heathrow.

Nahom, not his real name, 26, estimates he’s among around 40 asylum seekers there who’ve been told they’ll be sent to Rwanda.

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“It’s like a nightmare, it’s like a prison and I don’t like it here. I’m really stressed and panicked about the situation,” Nahom tells us from the site almost 100 miles away.

He admits he has been able to meet his solicitor but says he’s feeling increasingly desperate about being faced with the prospect of being sent to Rwanda.

“They can send my body, but not me alive,” he says. “I’m just giving up.”

In west London, we meet Nura, in her 20s, whose real name is withheld and who has made the decision to keep attending meetings with the Home Office because she doesn’t want to be kicked out of her taxpayer-funded hotel.

Nura says she will keep going to the appointments
Nura says she will keep going to the appointments

Read more:
Sunak’s Rwanda plan is at risk of being undermined
UK considered Iraq for asylum seekers in Rwanda-type deal

But each time she goes to sign in she’s terrified of being detained.

“Sometimes I say ‘why me’?” she asks tearfully, looking at her “notice of intent” letter warning her she’s being considered for removal to Rwanda.

“It’s not a safe country,” she adds. “What is the difference from Eritrea? It’s the same.”

Nura says when she came to the UK by small boat, she believed women wouldn’t be sent to Rwanda. She says she wouldn’t have come if she’d known she was at risk.

The notice of intent letter
The notice of intent letter

Kidus says the same thing: “If I’d have known this I’d have never come here.” He added he’d have instead gone to “Belgium or France, or Germany maybe”.

Now they’re here, their only hope is they won’t be chosen for detention.

The government remains determined to get the first flights to Rwanda within weeks.

Ahead of a general election, the plan has become a clear dividing line between the Conservatives and Labour, which has vowed to scrap the scheme if it comes to power.

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‘Is today the day I’ll be diagnosed with cancer?’ Infected blood victim’s life turned upside down




'Is today the day I'll be diagnosed with cancer?' Infected blood victim's life turned upside down

“Every morning I wake up and there is a small part of me that thinks, ‘Is today the day I’m going to be diagnosed with some sort of cancer?'”

This is the question Susan Lee asks herself every day. It is part of the mental anguish of living with Hepatitis C.

Susan was born with Von Willebrand disease.

As a child, her blood clotting disorder was treated with a product called Factor 8. It was supposed to revolutionise treatment for haemophiliacs.

Susan Lee with her father
Susan with her father

Instead the American product farmed from prisoners and drug addicts was infected with HIV and Hepatitis. It was never screened or treated before being injected into the veins of patients.

The risks were known. Susan’s father raised concerns.

“I remember specifically on one occasion he went into the consulting room and spoke to my consultant,” says Susan.

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“[He] said, ‘I’m very worried about this, and I want you to let me know if Susan has or will receive any American blood products’.

“And he said to my father, ‘Absolutely not’.”

Susan Lee
Hepatitis C has had a devasting impact on every part of Susan’s life

However, at 14, Susan discovered she had been infected with Hepatitis C, like thousands of other patients in the worst NHS treatment scandal in history.

Susan believes patients like her were exposed to great risk and potential death to increase profits for the companies that were producing these blood products.

Read more:
Boy, 7, was used in secret trials before HIV infection, parents say
Grant Shapps ‘angry inside’ over infected blood scandal

“I think unfortunately it always comes down to cost implications. And we know that American blood products were cheaper from those big pharmaceutical companies.

“We know there were other treatment options available. There were German products that were out there and could have been used, but at a higher price point, and they were not chosen.”

The Hepatitis C infection has had a devasting impact on every part of Susan’s life. She has had to give up her career as a barrister.

Susan Lee
Susan with her mother

“It’s been a really, really difficult time for us as a family. And it’s intergenerational because we were given these products to take home, my parents were taught how to inject. My mother has a huge feeling of guilt surrounding that,” she says.

“Three weeks ago, she sat me down and said, ‘I’m so terribly sorry.’

“I said, ‘You’ve got absolutely nothing to be sorry for. It was nothing to do with you. You did your best’.

“Also my children, from having witnessed the times that I was really, really sick, you know, my daughters asking me, ‘Mummy, why can’t you run in the school races and for sports day?’

“Because I could barely lift my head off the pillow to get out of bed to be there.”

Later this morning, Susan and the thousands of other victims of the infected blood scandal will get answers to the decades-long search for the truth.

Westminster’s Methodist’s Central Hall where Sir Brian Langstaff will deliver his report into the infected blood scandal
Westminster’s Methodist’s Central Hall where Sir Brian Langstaff will deliver his report into the infected blood scandal

At Westminster’s Methodist’s Central Hall just after midday, Sir Brian Langstaff will deliver his report into the infected blood scandal. It is expected to be damning.

Des Collins, senior partner of Collins Solicitors which represents 1,500 victims and their families, said the inquiry chair is likely to hold many people accountable.

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“If you are going to point the finger at someone, you’ve got to give them notice and it’s that notice process which has delayed [the report] probably for the last six months. So a lot of people will have the finger pointed at them.

“They will be held accountable for each individual part of the scandal, which is appropriate insofar as their involvement is concerned.

“I don’t think we’re going to get the finger pointed at one person saying, ‘You are responsible for the whole thing,’ because there are so many people involved in it and they’re all making individual decisions.”

Westminster’s Methodist’s Central Hall
Westminster’s Methodist’s Central Hall

The significance of this moment cannot be overstated.

The great hall will be full of people infected with deadly diseases in secret trials, bereaved parents who saw their children die and all of the others affected by this preventable tragedy.

The atmosphere will be charged with emotion, anger and hopefully relief.

The delay in delivering justice has compounded the grief and anguish felt by so many. After being lied to and ignored for decades, they finally have their day.

This report must mark the beginning of the end of this shameful scandal.

Infected blood inquiry Sky News promo image

Sky News will have full coverage of the infected blood report on TV, online and on the Sky News app today

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‘Mum was given a death sentence’: 100 stories from infected blood scandal




'Mum was given a death sentence': 100 stories from infected blood scandal

“Losing Gary, my soul mate, was beyond painful,” says Kathryn Croucher, whose husband died aged 42 in 2010.

“Every day was a struggle dealing with the knowledge he was HIV and Hepatitis C positive.”

“Mum always said she was given a death sentence,” recalls Ronan Fitzgerald. His mother, Jane, died aged 54 after being infected with Hepatitis C when she was 16. “It was a ticking time bomb.”

Infected blood inquiry Sky News promo image

Sky News will have full coverage of the infected blood report on TV, online and on the Sky News app today.

More than 30,000 Britons were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C after being given contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Around 3,000 people have died as a result of the scandal, while many more still live under the shadow of health problems, debilitating treatments and stigma. Now, the findings of a public inquiry, first announced in 2017, will finally be published.

These are 100 faces of infected blood victims that either they, or their families, have shared with Sky News.

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Brixham: People remain scared to drink tap water as things slowly return to normal after parasite disease outbreak




Brixham: People remain scared to drink tap water as things slowly return to normal after parasite disease outbreak

“I’m never drinking tap water again,” Kayley Lewis says.

“My symptoms have made me lose a stone in two weeks.”

Ms Lewis and her two children have been suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps for over a fortnight – since South West Water found small traces of the parasite cryptosporidium in the Hillhead reservoir.

“I can’t trust them [South West Water] again.

“I might start using tap water for dishes… but definitely never to drink. Ever.

“I’ve been completely put off now… especially because of how poorly it makes you feel.

“I just don’t think I could ever try and risk going back to that.”

Pic: PA
A bottled water collection point in Devon. Pic: PA

At least 46 people are confirmed to have the disease, while as many as 70 other cases of diarrhoea and vomiting are also under investigation, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.

South West Water (SWW) has repeatedly apologised – telling Sky News today that they are working “around the clock” to get all households back to using safe water again.

This could be as early as this Wednesday, drought and resilience director at SWW David Harris told me.

“We’re looking at somewhere between mid to late next week before we’ll be in a position to be able to responsibly lift that boil water notice.”

David Harris said it could be a couple of weeks before the boil water notice
David Harris said it could be a couple of weeks before the boil water notice is lifted

So far, 14,500 households in the Alston supply area can drink their tap water without boiling it first – as advised by SWW.

However, some 2,500 homes in Hillhead, upper parts of Brixham and Kingswear have been told to continue boiling – and cooling – their water supplies before drinking it.

Steve Price, who runs the Station Guest House B&B near Brixham, said he lost a couple of thousand pounds in bookings due to – understandably – paranoid customers.

“Losses we anticipate are roughly around £2000 from people that have cancelled and directly stated that the cancellation was due to the water situation.

“So we would anticipate that at the bare minimum as compensation.”

Read more
Contamination ‘shouldn’t have happened’, SWW boss says
Water firm apologises after parasite detected in reservoir
Parasite outbreak has ‘destroyed’ business, residents say

Kayley Lewis has been drinking bottled water since the disease outbreak
Kayley Lewis has been drinking bottled water since the disease outbreak

Mr Price has spent the afternoon emptying the B&B’s water tanks in order to minimise the risk to his guests.

“In terms of money – we’re just flushing it away!

“A couple of hundred pounds worth. But this supply feeds the showers, sinks and bathrooms.

“It needs to be completely emptied and cleaned to avoid risks”.

Mr Price’s business isn’t the only one suffering.

It’s a bleak picture across the neighbouring towns.

This time of year Brixham is usually buzzing with holidaymakers – especially by the harbour side.

The past week, however, has been another story.

“It’s a ghost town”, Sally Tollon, an employee at a local chippy tells me.

“We’re really quiet… you can see it’s empty, because people are frightened to come down because of the water situation.

“On average we make a thousand pounds a day. Yesterday we did half of that.”

Sally Tollon's says the fish and chip shop where she works is losing money
Sally Tollon says the fish and chip shop where she works is losing money

Despite things slowly getting back to normal, people are scared.

They have lost faith and trust in a water supply – one woman told me – they had “always taken for granted”.

It’s clear rebuilding the community’s trust and confidence in their water supplier will take some time in the coming weeks and months.

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