1. ITV Report

Delay to allow six-year-old's use of cannabis oil 'unconscionably cruel'

Alfie Dingley's application to use cannabis oil still has no outcome. Photo: ITV News Central

The family of a six-year-old boy from Warwickshire, with rare epilepsy, has welcomed the Home Secretary's decision to allow another severely ill boy to use cannabis oil treatment, but says they still haven't heard about the status of their application, two months on.

Alfie Dingley, from Kenilworth, and his family have been campaigning to use cannabis oil for months to help prevent his seizures.

His mother Hannah Deacon was told by the Prime Minister in April that her application for a license to use the drug would be reviewed 'speedily', but since then, she still hasn't heard an outcome.

Alfie's family met with the Prime Minister in April, who said she would 'speedily' review their application Credit: ITV News Central

But now the Home Office has permitted 12-year-old Billy Caldwell to use the drug, Alfie's mother says it would be "unconscionably cruel" to further delay her son's access.

It would be unconscionably cruel if the Home Office delay any further in issuing our medical team the licence they need to administer medical cannabis to our son Alfie.

The Home Office asked us not to seek publicity while our application was being put together and considered. We have complied with that request. But we're now approaching three months. The time for process and bureaucracy has passed.

– Hannah Deacon
The mother of Billy Caldwell has been successful in getting the government to allow cannabis oil treatment for her son Credit: PA

The former drugs minister Norman Baker described the confiscation of the oilbrought into Heathrow Airport by Charlotte Caldwell on Monday as "cruel and inhumane", and renewed calls for a law change.

Ms Caldwell, from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, vowed to keep up the fight to get the necessary cannabis medication for others in the UK.

Billy's future access to the treatment also remains uncertain, with the Home Office only granting a licence for one of the seven bottles confiscated.