Thalidomide victim goes on hunger strike

A THALIDOMIDE victim began a hunger strike yesterday in an attempt to win greater compensation. Kim Morton, 31, who has malformed arms and legs because her mother took the drug during pregnancy in the early Sixties, wants the Government to hold a public inquiry into a row over claims going back more than 30 years.

Mrs Morton, a Belfast housewife who has three sons, has the support of MPs and more than 400 other victims and members of the Thalidomide Action Group. She is consuming only liquids, but said: 'I can't say yet how far I will take this and my family don't agree with this tactic . . . This is the only way I can make the Government sit up and take notice.'

Mrs Morton said that 20 years ago, her parents, exhausted by the compensation battle, accepted pounds 19,000 from the Government and Distillers, the company which made the drug - a sum she regards as grossly inadequate for a lifetime disability. Distillers was taken over by Guinness eight years ago.

An Early Day Motion on the subject has already won the support of more than 60 MPs in the Commons.