MPs are putting pressure on the government to force insurers to foot the bill for a shared mesothelioma disease pool.

It comes a week after Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Lord Falconer and John Hutton, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, tabled an amendment to the Bill which would effectively overturn the Barker ruling.

AXA claims director David Williams said: "An amendment to the Compensation Bill just shouts 'doing things in a rush' and could have dire consequences."

MPs across parties have shown support for changes to the Bill.

Mick Clapham MP said: "I want to see the insurance industry putting money into a pot. I know some cases will be dealt with by the government but for the other cases, there will be provisions.

"This would mean a reduction in legal costs and avoid ping pong decisions in the courts.

"We need an all embracing scheme which insurers should finance."

One source said that behind the scenes talks between ministers and the ABI had also revealed a need for some funding from the public purse.

"The example of Cape, the industrial materials manufacturer, will be receiving close attention.

"Cape had substantial asbestos liabilities, but set up a ring-fenced fund, approved by creditors and the courts," said the source.