Labour MP Dismore takes bill to the House for a second time

A group of MPs campaigning to bring parity between England, Wales and Scotland over pleural plaques legislation piled more pressure on the government when a private members’ bill was given a second reading in the House of Commons last Friday.

The Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) (No 2) Bill aims to overturn a House of Lords ruling in 2007 that pleural plaques are not compensatable. A replica bill was passed by the Scottish parliament last year, receiving Royal Assent despite a judicial review by four insurers – Aviva, AXA, Zurich and RSA – which have now launched an appeal.

It is the second time Labour MP Andrew Dismore has brought a private members’ bill to the House. He said he hoped to build on the decision in Scotland. Plaques payouts could cost insurers up to £28bn. The ABI has argued that plaques should not be compensated because they are symptomless.

It is unsure when the government will announce its decision, but minister of state Michael Wills hinted that a solution was “not far off”.