MPs from across the UK have put their weight behind a campaign to compensate people diagnosed with pleural plaques.

An Early Day Motion in the House of Commons has attracted signatures from 130 MPs from as far afield as Newcastle to Essex.

Pleural plaques are scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos. Although rarely causing symptoms they are associated with an increased risk of developing fatal conditions like mesothelioma.

The Early Day Motion calls on a reversal of the Law Lords decision that has deprived pleural plaques sufferers of much needed compensation.

It also states that members are alarmed that Pamela Abernathy from the Forum of Insurance Lawyers said ‘plaques are a good thing and do not cause harm’.

Exposed to asbestos in the workplace

Thousands of people in the North East have pleural plaques. Most were exposed to asbestos in the workplace at a time when employers were fully aware of the harmful effects and did nothing to protect workers.

Many people with pleural plaques tell of the worry and uncertainty it causes knowing that one day they may develop asbestos cancer.

Thousands of workers across the UK have been on tenterhooks since the House of Lords ended the right to compensation for pleural plaques in 2007 as a result of a test case brought by the insurance industry.

Before then average awards of between £5,000 to £15,000 were made for pleural plaques with the first successful cases being decided in 1984.

Call for Government to reinstate compensation for pleural plaques

Following pressure from the unions last year the Government held a consultation looking at a number of different options to bring redress to people diagnosed with pleural plaques. The results of that consultation were expected to be revealed last year.

The MPs who signed the EDM have called for the Government to reinstate compensation for people with pleural plaques and to make an announcement without further delay.

Thompsons Solicitors who represent hundreds of people with pleural plaques are supporting the campaign. Ian McFall, head of asbestos policy at Thompsons said: “People with pleural plaques have been harmed because they went to work with no protection in conditions which were dangerous. The Law Lords dismissed their claims while saving the insurers a fortune. The Government has a responsibility to do what is fair and just by restoring the right to compensation. Ultimately it’s a question of social justice.”