A WOMAN campaigning for justice for victims of the contaminated blood scandal claims she has found key evidence warning signs were ignored.

Carol Grayson said a newspaper article from 1983 proves that health experts were aware there was a risk of haemophiliacs contracting AIDS during blood transfusions.

Her husband, Peter Longstaff, died in 2005 after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated plasma, 22 years after the first case of AIDS was reported in American haemophiliacs.

Ms Grayson found the article, written by Washinton DC-based journalist Christine Doyle and published in The Observer in the National Archives ahead of a judge-led inquiry into the scandal.

Ms Grayson, who is from Hartlepool, and now lives in Newcastle, said: “It indicates that the Government should have known much earlier to take the US plasma treatment off the shelves because of the AIDS risk.

“This article is so important. There were notes beside it that show it was discussed at a meeting of haematologists. They were aware of it. It was a serious issue and they knew AIDS was likely to be blood-born.

“So why did it take them months and months and months to do anything about it?”

Prime Minister Theresa May said last year that an inquiry would be held into the events of the 1970s and 1980s, which left around 2,400 people dead.

Earlier this year, it was announced Mr Justice Langstaff will be the full-time chairman of the inquiry from May 1 after retiring from the High Court and he promised a “thorough examination of the evidence”.

It is not yet known where the inquiry will be held or how long it is expected to run for.

Ms Grayson’s husband, Mr Longstaff, who was a haemophiliac, became infected with Hepatitis C in the 1970s from US blood products used in an NHS blood transfusions and contracted HIV in the same way in the early 1980s.

Ms Grayson said: “The warning signs were there, in The Observer in the UK, in January 1983. The response was to do nothing.

“Shortly after this, the first case of AIDS in haemophiliacs were reported in this country.”

The Department for Health was contacted for comment but did not respond.