South Shields couple welcome Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge on donor register

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his speech at the Labour Party annual conference at the Brighton Centre, Brighton. Credit Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his speech at the Labour Party annual conference at the Brighton Centre, Brighton. Credit Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A pledge by Jeremy Corbyn for an opt-out system for organ donation to be adopted in England has been welcomed by the parents of a South Tyneside schoolboy.

Alfie Leggett and Susan Clarkson, from Primrose Avenue, took the decision for Jack’s organs to be donated following his death from a brain tumour aged nine.

Jack Leggett

Jack Leggett

Their selfless act led to four people’s lives being saved.

Previously, a petition was handed to Downing Street calling for an opt-out system to be introduced as part of Gazette campaign In Miley’s Memory.

The campaign, in memory of Miley Turbitt, who died after a heart failed to be found in time, also boosted registered donor numbers in South Tyneside by 2,000.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who made the pledge during the party’s conference, said: “There are more than 5,000 people on the organ transplant waiting lists, but a shortage of donors means that in recent years only 3,500 of them get the life-saving treatments they need.

“So that everybody whose life could be saved by an organ transplant can have the gift of life, from one human being to another.”

The law has already been changed in Wales under Carwyn Jones’s leadership. Earlier this year, Scotland also brought in a soft opt-out system for organ donation.

Mr Corbyn added: “I make the commitment, a Labour government will do the same for England.”

The change would see presumed consent for organ donations, whereby organs become available for transplants unless people decide not to take part.

Mr Leggett said: “Donating a loved one’s organs doesn’t make the pain or the grief any less. But it does give you comfort knowing that what you have done, has prevented another family from going through the same heartache your currently going through and that your loved one has given someone the greatest gift of all - the gift of life. I’m all for the opt-out system.”