'We're talking about at least tens of thousands of documents within these files,' says campaigner Jason Evans
'Victims of the contaminated blood scandal have raised fears of a cover-up after it emerged hundreds of "crucial" documents were removed by government officials and are now missing.
Following the start of the Infected Blood Inquiry last year a Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) found around 950 files relating to blood policy had been "checked out" by staff over a period of years.
The report was released under Freedom of Information laws to campaigner Jason Evans, whose father died in 1993 having contracted hepatitis and HIV.
The 29-year-old, who is suing the government for negligence, said the removal of documents "probably goes back decades" and could form part of a cover-up.
Thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C via contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, in what has been labelled the biggest treatment scandal in NHS history.
Many of those affected had haemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder, and relied on regular injections of clotting agent Factor VIII, which was made from pooling human blood plasma.
Britain was running low on supplies of Factor VIII so imported products from the US, where prison inmates and others were paid cash for giving blood.
In September, the first UK-wide probe - the Infected Blood Inquiry - heard that more than 25,000 people could have been affected.
The GIAA report released to Mr Evans and dated November 6 2018, said almost 1,000 files relating to blood policy had been checked out by officials.
These included around 450 files checked out by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) staff and a further 500 by Department for Education staff.
It said: "DHSC staff can check out paper files they need from the archives, (they) should return these once finished.'
Read more: Cover-up fears as hundreds of contaminated blood files 'vanish' before inquiry can see them