Prime Minister Tony Blair is to meet a group of MPs who are battling to include a draft amendment to the Compensation Bill that will effectively overturn the recent controversial Barker mesothelioma ruling.

A suggested wording has been put forward by law firm Thompsons which acted for one of the unsuccessful claimants in the Barker case.

The proposed amendment states that in cases where more than one employer could have exposed an employee to asbestos fibres, each employer would be liable for the full amount of any compensation.

This would reverse the Barker case, in which the House of Lords ruled that an employer should only be liable for a share of the damages.

The MPs have slated the ruling, which they believe will have a devastating effect on mesothelioma victims and their families, particularly where an employer had gone bust or could not be traced.

John Denham MP has written to the Department of Constitutional Affairs asking the government to press insurance companies to work together to pay compensation to those who are suffering.

He said in the Commons: "The government may need to compel insurance companies to reach an agreement within a set timetable so the victims can get what they are entitled to."

Other MPs who are campaigning for reform are Mick Clapham and Stephen Hepburn.

AXA claims director David Williams said the insurer had taken legal advice which said the MPs' amendment was unlikely to be included in the Bill as it was too far removed from the Bill's original aims.

Last week, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton, said he wanted to work with the insurance industry to speed up the settlement of asbestos claims.