Daniel Bentley - Parliamentary Correspondent

The government aims to have its new claims management regulator up and running by October.

Baroness Ashton revealed the timetable during a House of Lords debate this week on the Compensation Bill, which will introduce statutory claims regulation.

The Constitutional Affairs Minister said: "We were looking to have everything done and dusted and the regulator ready, if we could, by the end of this year.

"I should like to do that more quickly if I possibly can. My ambition is to have everything ready by October."

Ashton added the revised target date was in recognition of "the need to move as swiftly as we possibly can".

Baroness Ashton has commissioned independent advice on the model for the new regulator, which she is discussing with the Claims Standards Council (CSC). The CSC is to deliver a formal response to the report by the end of the week. In the CSC's view, establishing a regulator by October is "very do-able".

Andy Wigmore, CSC policy adviser, said: "It is a case of having that work in place and completed. It wouldn't be surprising if it happened before October."

He said if appointed the CSC would be a "stepping stone regulator" until a body incorporating representatives from the Law Society, trading standards and the FSA could be established.

Baroness Ashton added: "One of the options is for the Lord Chancellor to regulate, whether directly or through some other mechanism. He would take on the role but would then designate a suitable body to do the work."