The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has crushed fears that the government could bring legislation on pleural plaques.

Bridget Prentice, parliamentary under-secretary of state for constitutional affairs, sparked alarm last month when she announced that the DWP would “be launching a bill in the not-too-distant future” on pleural plaques.

This week, the DWP denied it had planned to bring a bill before parliament when it re-convenes in September. A spokeswoman said: “We are not doing anything on pleural plaques. There have been a few misunderstandings, because there is nothing happening.”

Pleural plaques is not considered a medical disease by insurers because it can only be detected by shadows on the lung, which do not cause illness. Insurers believed the government would not act until the House of Lords ruled on the Rothwell case, which is expected to be early next year.

“Bridget Prentice was actually pre-supposing what the House of Lords is going to do, she made a statement and now there seems to be a lot of confusion,” said a Norwich Union spokesman.