Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our MPs Can Finally Make a Difference; YOUR MP CAN CLINCH JUSTICE FOR ASBESTOS VICTIMS -: BUT ONLY IF THEY BOTHER TO TURN UP IN THE COMMONS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our MPs Can Finally Make a Difference; YOUR MP CAN CLINCH JUSTICE FOR ASBESTOS VICTIMS -: BUT ONLY IF THEY BOTHER TO TURN UP IN THE COMMONS

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN PEARSON

D-DAY looms tomorrow for asbestos victims who could finally clinch compensation in the Commons.

If enough North East MPs turn up they may be able to force through a Bill to potentially secure pay-outs for thousands of former workers left stricken with industrial diseases.

MPs from across Tyneside have been told they have one last throw of the dice tomorrow to use a "back door route" to force a change in the law and overturn a court ruling which robbed sufferers of compensation.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is now working behind the scenes with union bosses to persuade as many MPs as possible to turn up tomorrow, a day most traditionally use to head back to their constituencies.

Andrew Dismore, a London MP and former personal injury lawyer, will present the final stages of his Private Members' Bill on Friday. The process offers MPs the chance to take an issue close to their heart and try and make it law.

Without at least some Government support the Bill would never have reached this far, and still faces hurdles in the House of Lords if passed.

But the potential for justice has been helped along by Newcastle MP Nick Brown, who has used his position as one of Gordon Brown's closest allies to quitely ensure the Bill progresses.

And Labour's Dave Anderson has teamed up with union leaders to explain to hundreds of MPs just how important Friday's chance is. The MP has been putting pressure on his colleagues to attend the vote.

He said: "I would urge any Chronicle readers who care about bringing justice to pleural plaques sufferers to contact their MP today and ask them if they will be joining this fight. If we can win this part we can go to the Government and say look what we have done, now act on this.

"It's not the winning move but it is a huge step forward and we do not want to see that chance lost because we did not have enough people there to push this through. …

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