A bout of name-calling from the elected ones.

The insurance industry has been called many things, not all of them complimentary. But this week in a Commons debate on asbestos-related illnesses, insurers were likened to jackals, the omnivorous scavengers.

Labour MP Michael Clapham singled out Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance and health, and said: “The insurance industry comes back time and again, like a jackal, to tackle the issue of occupational disease caused by asbestos.”

MPs want to overturn the House of Lords’ ruling made in October that says victims of pleural plaques cannot claim compensation.

Not surprisingly, insurers do not.

Starling, who described the comments as offensive, nevertheless kept his cool and concentrated instead on picking holes in the less personal parts of the MP’s argument.

Readers will recall that Starling is no stranger to the spin and inflammatory comments of the Westminster village.

As Insurance Times reported last month (News, 22 May), he was less than pleased with the government’s attempts to spin the insurance industry’s efforts to help the victims of last summer’s floods.

Beware the wolves of Westminster.