Jones criticised insurers when it came to their approach to claims, observing that insurers' new-found interest in the claimant is "a conversion on the road to Damascus".

He said: "Insurers' profits are often cushioned by crying foul and delaying claims.

And some insurers may not be trying to evade their liabilities but they are certainly trying to minimise them."

In reference to mesothelioma claims, Jones added: "If the industry had looked up it would have seen the storm clouds gathering and known that it would have to pay out."

And on the ABI's proposals he warned that it created more questions that they answered. "The ABI's proposals need full consultation and they must provide compensation limited to inflation," he said.

He dismissed Justin Jacobs comparison of the UK system with that of the Netherlands. "It is not valid, as it is not comparing apples with apples," he said.