A HAEMOPHILIAC infected with hepatitis C while being treated with bad blood led a protest at health minister Andy Burnham’s Leigh office on Friday.

Grappenhall resident Mike Kenwright marched with other haemophiliacs to demand financial compensation for their infections at the hands of the NHS.

Mr Burnham would not meet with Mike and his fellow protestors, but they camped outside his constituency office for hours to make their feelings known, handing out flyers and displaying placards.

They handed in more than 70 letters from the families of those who have died from their infections and from those too ill to travel.

One letter came from a seven-year-old girl who had held her father’s hand as he died of his illness.

“This supposedly honourable gentleman who is now Minister for Health did not even have the decency to give sick people, who had in some cases travelled more than 200 miles to be there, just a few minutes of his time even though all he had to do was come to the door of his office,” said Mike, of Chester Road.

“The word coward comes to mind.”

The protest was arranged after the Government’s response to an independent report into the practice of buying blood from prisoners and drug addicts in America in the 1970s and 1980s.

The blood, used to treat haemophilia patients, infected thousands with Hepatitis and HIV.

Earlier this year the Government pledged to compensate those infected with HIV but only to give a one-off payment to those with hepatitis.

“We went there to do the job of showing this Government we are not going away until this issue is put to rest, and the protest certainly did this even if Mr Burnham is too much of a coward to meet the victims of NHS contaminated treatment face to face,” said Mike.

Mike has set up a petition online at petitions.number10.gov.uk/Haemophilia/.