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Welcome to the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum - UK (AVSGF)

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (AVSGF-UK) is an umbrella organisation representing asbestos victims support groups. The Forum' s main purpose is to work collectively to provide one voice for asbestos victims.

For advice on benefits and compensation and support for sufferers of asbestos disease and their families contact Forum Members

Latest News...

Press Release: Asbestos in Children’s Products Sold in UK

May 21, 2018: A report released by a US analyst has confirmed the presence of tremolite asbestos in children’s products sold at an outlet of Claire’s Accessories in a London suburb. These products were purchased in April 2018 and shipped to the US for analysis.

Clicik here for more...

Landmark Victory in the High Court for Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (the Forum) have won a case in the High Court for disclosure of historic documents that could reveal that industry and Government agencies knew far more about the dangers of asbestos products than they revealed.

In February 2017 a 6 week long case concluded in the Royal Courts of Justice between insurance companies, who had previously paid compensation to dying mesothelioma victims, and Cape Distribution Limited and subsidiary companies. The insurers argued that Cape should share the costs of compensation as it was their products that had caused the diseases, and because Cape knew more about the dangers of their products than they had disclosed.

During the course of this case, the Cape companies were ordered to disclose thousands of documents which showed what they knew about the dangers of exposure to asbestos. Both sides made a confidential agreement to destroy these documents at the end of the trial. On hearing this, the Forum instructed Harminder Bains of Leigh Day to apply to the Court to preserve the documents, which Master McCloud granted in April.

At a 3 day hearing in the High Court in October, Counsel for the Forum argued that it was in the public interest that the Forum be given these documents. They could help mesothelioma victims currently pursuing compensation claims in courts. It was also in the wider public interest to learn more about how Cape contributed to the biggest industrial disaster this country has ever seen and how their political lobbying influenced Government safety measures that were supposed to protect the lives and well-being of workers.

In her judgement of 5 December Master McCloud agreed the Forum had a legitimate interest in obtaining the documents, and decided in the Forum’s favour, agreeing disclosure of most of the documents the Forum had requested. She stated that the Forum was “a group which provides help and support to asbestos victims. In some respects it is also a pressure group and is involved in lobbying and in promoting asbestos knowledge and safety. Those are legitimate activities and provide legitimate interest”.

Graham Dring, Chair of the Forum said “This decision is fantastic news. Cape, along with Turner & Newall were the two biggest asbestos companies in this country. Their activities and products exposed thousands of workers and their families to asbestos and caused many deaths from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. It is essential we now find out exactly how much they knew about the dangers of their products and when they knew this. These documents have been hidden for far too long. Cape owe us all an explanation of their role in the biggest industrial scandal to hit this country, a scandal that has not yet run its course with tens of thousands more men and women expected to die from mesothelioma”.

Harminder Bains of Leigh Day, and Rob Weir and Jonathan Butters of Devereux Chambers acted on behalf of the Forum.

Click here to read a copy of the judgement

British and Japanese asbestos campaigners unite to remember mesothelioma victims at events around the UK on 7th July

Forum groups were delighted to welcome a delegation of 20 Japanese campaigners at Action Mesothelioma Day events across the country this year.
This solidarity visit was organised by the national network of asbestos victims support groups in Japan, where the number of mesothelioma cases is on the rise. The delegation was made up of people with asbestos diseases, bereaved family members, trade unionists and asbestos campaigners.
There are many cases of environmental exposure in Japan, people who contracted mesothelioma because they lived close to asbestos factories, in addition to those who were exposed at work. We were moved to hear the sad stories from those who had lost loved ones to mesothelioma in Japan. The UK still has the worst incidence of mesothelioma in the world but this disease does not recognise borders and it is clear that people in Japan, and many other countries, also suffer from this man-made epidemic.
AMD events saw doves released in memory of all those who have lost their lives to mesothelioma and MPs address rallies across the UK. Forum groups raised money for mesothelioma research in the build-up to Action Mesothelioma Day as they do every year and called for Government action to ensure sustainable funding for mesothelioma research.
We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to our friends from Japan who contributed so much to Action Mesothelioma Day this year. Your solidarity meant so much to us. It highlighted the international nature of the asbestos epidemic. We have made good friends and look forward to continuing our joint struggle for justice for all asbestos victims and their families.

Click image to enlarge



Action Mesothelioma Day

Friday 7th July 2017* 

Each year, hundreds of people gather in cities across the UK to raise awareness of mesothelioma, to call for better treatment and care for mesothelioma patients and more funding for mesothelioma research, for prevention of exposure to asbestos, and to ban mining and export of asbestos to developing countries.

Families affected by mesothelioma will release doves as a public act of remembrance for all those who have died. Local MPs will address rallies.

Local groups will be organising an event near you (click here to see list – we will update these details as we get more information). This event takes place on the first Friday in July every year (*except in Portsmouth this year where the event will take place on Friday 30th June 2017).

Contact the Forum if you would like further information on 0161 636 7555.

6 May 2016

Keep Phoenix House benefits office open!

Phoenix House in Barrow, Cumbria has been earmarked for closure in March 2018 by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Phoenix House is a specialist benefits office that deals with all Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) claims for people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases throughout the country.

If the closure goes ahead it will be a blow for mesothelioma sufferers who benefit greatly from the expertise that has been built up over many years by the DWP staff based in this office. In addition to IIDB claims, staff at Phoenix process linked benefits such as Constant Attendance Allowance, Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance and lump sums paid under the Pneumoconiosis (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 and 2008 Mesothelioma Scheme.

This is a niche area of the benefits system with complex benefit rules and a vulnerable client group, many of whom are elderly and have been newly diagnosed with a terminal illness. They need to be sure their claims will be dealt with sensitively and efficiently. Staff at Phoenix House tick all these boxes. Advice workers can reassure mesothelioma patients that the benefits to which they are entitled will be processed and paid within two to three weeks in nearly all cases.

The 70 workers in Phoenix House have built up a huge amount of expertise in these specialist benefits over many years. If the office closes the most likely result would be a deterioration in service, longer delays in processing benefit claims and increased uncertainty for mesothelioma patients. Forum groups have developed an excellent working relationship with staff at Phoenix House and the people we help have benefitted greatly from their expertise and empathy.

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum UK fully supports the Phoenix House workers in their campaign to keep this office open.  We have sent an open letter to the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions which has been supported by all the main charities and support groups working with victims of asbestos diseases, along with people living with mesothelioma, bereaved family members, doctors and lawyers.

We are now in the middle of a General Election campaign. There will be a new Government and new Ministers after June. We intend to keep the pressure on to keep Phoenix House open after the election and will resend the open letter so that the new Government Ministers are left in no doubt about our total opposition to the closure of this office.

If you would like to add your support for this open letter, please contact the Forum at asbestos.mcr@gmail.com

You can also support this campaign by signing the online petition at https://www. change.org/p/ department-for-workand-pensionssave-phoenix-housekeep-jobs-inbarrow-retain-asbestosdiseaseknowledge-experience

Click here to view/download the letter.

20 December 2016

Identity of asbestos spy revealed

The name of the individual caught spying on asbestos campaign groups has been revealed after the High Court lifted his anonymity protection. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/08/k2-corporate-spy-infiltrated-anti-asbestos-campaign-court-told

Robert (Rob) Moore had posed as a sympathetic filmmaker in an attempt to infiltrate and gather private information on campaigners in the UK and overseas. Moore worked for K2 Intelligence Ltd, a firm founded by Jules Kroll, "a leading figure in the corporate intelligence industry" according to the Guardian, and run by his son and co-founder Jeremy.



15 December 2016

It’s official – Canada to ban use of asbestos by 2018

The Canadian Federal government announced today that asbestos and asbestos-containing materials will be banned by 2018.

This is a significant and welcome reversal by Canada which, until very recently, was one of the leading asbestos mining and exporting countries in the world.

Credit is due to all those campaigners in Canada, Asia and other parts of the world who have kept up the fight, against well resourced and well connected industry opposition, to achieve this fantastic turnaround.

Full story

Press release from campaign groups


24 November 2016

Asbestos victims welcome Companies House change of heart on destroying records

Groups representing sufferers of asbestos related diseases have welcomed reassurances given on behalf of the Government that proposals to destroy records of dissolved companies have been abandoned.
The Guardian reported in August that Companies House was planning to destroy the records of companies that had been dissolved for longer than 6 years, overturning their current policy of retaining records for at least 20 years.
If these proposals had been implemented they would have proved disastrous for people with the incurable asbestos related cancer mesothelioma seeking to secure compensation for their negligent workplace exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos diseases take decades to develop1, sometimes as long as 60 years following exposure to asbestos.
Because of this long latency period the negligent employer has usually gone out of business by the time the disease develops.
Access to Companies House records on dissolved companies is crucial for victims trying to secure justice, enabling them to identify the correct trading name of their former employer and the insurance company liable to pay compensation.
Thousands of people could have been denied access to justice if these records had been destroyed.
Responding to Parliamentary questions2, Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), confirmed that not only would there be no reduction in the length of time Companies House retained these records but that there would now be no destruction of any records currently held on dissolved companies until and unless there is an agreed change of policy.
She also confirmed there would be no change in this policy without a full public consultation.
Welcoming this change of heart, Graham Dring, Chair of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups' Forum UK said:
"This decision is good news for victims of mesothelioma and other long-tail industrial diseases who already face an uphill struggle securing justice in the courts. If these proposals had gone ahead it would have denied access to justice to many asbestos victims unable to pursue a negligent employer or their insurer.
"It is also reassuring to hear the Minister confirm that no records will now be destroyed as even the 20 year retention period is inadequate in protecting the interests of terminally ill asbestos victims who may have been exposed to asbestos 40 or 50 years before. There is no way of predicting which records may be needed in the future. Storage should not be an issue with the technology available to us today and we expect Companies House to maintain its commitment to those suffering from mesothelioma now and the thousands more predicted in the future by retaining records of all dissolved companies."

For further details, please see this press release: Companies House press release

Read the Guardian article on this


June 17

Kathleen Ruff honoured by Quebec’s National Assembly

One of Canada’s best known anti-asbestos campaigners has been awarded the prestigious Medal of Honour by Quebec’s National Assembly in recognition of her tireless work campaigning against Canada’s deadly asbestos trade, and her pivotal role in bringing this trade to a halt.

Kathleen Ruff is well known to Forum members but her achievements deserve wider recognition. This award would have been unthinkable until fairly recently. Quebec was the heart of Canada’s asbestos industry, and Canada was one of the world’s leading asbestos producing and exporting countries. To defeat the asbestos industry in Canada the fight would have to be taken to the heart of the beast and Kathleen did this with relentless determination. She managed to pull together an effective coalition of doctors and scientists who were prepared to stand up and say publically that chrysotile kills. She worked closely with asbestos victims in Canada and other countries to expose the devastating effects of Canada’s love affair with asbestos. She persuaded key politicians to break with the consensus and take a stand against the asbestos industry. And she took on the lies and distortions of the asbestos lobby, their go-to scientists and the politicians who pushed their interests in Government.

As recently as 2012, the Quebec government had awarded the asbestos industry $58 million to help open the giant Jeffrey underground asbestos mine. But later that year, thanks in large part to Kathleen’s tireless campaigning alongside others, the loan was withdrawn and the mine closed, effectively putting an end to Canada’s century old asbestos trade. This was a triumph for campaigners in Canada as they defeated an industry with powerful friends and deep pockets.

The results, in terms of lives that will be saved in Canada, and the countries which received its asbestos exports, are incalculable. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kathleen for her tireless and selfless campaigning. She is a shining example of what can be achieved with truth and determination. We in the Forum would like to extend our heartfelt congratulation to Kathleen on this richly deserved award.

Kathleen Ruff at Action Mesothelioma Day in Manchester, July 2012.

More info on the award and Kathleen’s work can be found  here

Action Mesothelioma Day

Friday 1st July 2016 

Every year, on the first Friday in July, people gather around the country to commemorate those who have lost their lives to mesothelioma. Campaigners, victims of asbestos diseases, families and carers will be joined by trade unionists and MPs to raise awareness of mesothelioma and to campaign for better funded research and improvements in treatment.

Details of events organised by Forum groups can be found below:

Action Mesothelioma Day in Portsmouth

Action Mesothelioma Day in Manchester

Action Mesothelioma Day in Derby

Action Mesothelioma Day in Sheffield

Action Mesothelioma Day in Gateshead

Action Mesothelioma Day in Wallasey

Action Mesothelioma Day in Leicester

Action Mesothelioma Day in Barrow

Action Mesothelioma Day in Leeds

Action Mesothelioma Day in Swansea

Action Mesothelioma Day in Birmingham

Details of other Action Mesothelioma Day events:

30 March 2016

Asbestos Victims Groups welcome £5 million pledged for a National Mesothelioma Centre but argue for full consultation and open tenders before funds allocated.

Funding for mesothelioma research has always been pitifully low and for years now the Forum has campaigned hard for better funding. Our groups have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for research through sponsorship of our Action Mesothelioma Day events and other fundraising activities.

So we are delighted that £5 million has been pledged by the Chancellor with the express aim of establishing a National Mesothelioma Centre to give a lead on developing research to find better treatment and a cure for this dreadful disease. This is a significant sum, at least compared to funding previously given for mesothelioma research.

Although this is a one-off grant it can be a springboard for the future if used wisely. We desperately need a national strategy for research which enhances collaboration amongst the leading researchers and builds on the cutting edge work already going on in the UK. We also need ongoing, sustainable funding earmarked specifically for mesothelioma research so that we can continue to develop new ideas and treatments, and also attract more researchers to the field, who may currently see this area of work as too risky given past funding difficulties.

At the moment it is unclear where and how this money will be allocated and that is a major concern. None of the leading mesothelioma researchers, research institutions or charities were consulted before the Budget announcement and were as surprised as anyone to hear the news.

During discussions at the annual All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Asbestos Seminar in the House of Commons on 22 March it was suggested that a decision had already been made by the relevant Minister to award this money to a consortium of institutions led by Imperial College, all based in London. If true, this is a shocking disregard for the existing experience and talent of mesothelioma researchers in the UK. Imperial College may have many fine qualities but they have published little, if any mesothelioma research.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, we have some of the best research in the world already going on under our noses. A National Mesothelioma Centre does not have to be a ‘bricks and mortar’ centre. Why not a ‘virtual centre’, co-ordinating the research already happening in places like Leicester, Cambridge, Sheffield and Southampton?

The Forum has written to George Freeman MP, the responsible Minister, to urge full consultation and an open tender process before any decisions are made about the allocation of the £5 million, or the National Mesothelioma Centre. We need decisions that are made in the best interests of mesothelioma patients, and that requires open consultation with all the best people, not secret backroom deals.

We have an opportunity to drive the fight against mesothelioma forward and give victims some hope for the first time. That requires collaboration and openness not private negotiations. We should seize this opportunity with both hands, get all those currently leading on mesothelioma research around the table with politicians and civil servants and decide collectively the best way to spend the £5 million Budget award, what type of National Mesothelioma Centre we need and how we sustain progress in research for the future.

Click here to read the letter to George Freeman

15 February 2016

Asbestos victims will miss Lord Avebury, one of their staunchest champions, who died on the 13 February 2016.

Lord Avebury championed many causes during his long political career, including the campaign to protect workers from the dangers of asbestos, and to provide justice for asbestos victims and their families, which continues to this day.

In 1976, Lord Avebury was one of the first, and most influential supporters of the late Nancy Tait MBE, assisting her in the publication of her book, Asbestos Kills, and becoming a trustee of Nancy Tait's organisation, the Society for the Prevention of Asbestosis and industrial Diseases (SPAID).

More recently, Lord Avebury was one of the main proponents of exceptional treatment for asbestos victims in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and for improvements to the Mesothelioma Act 2014, which set up a scheme to pay compensation to mesothelioma sufferers who cannot trace employers' liability insurance. During the passage of both Acts Lord Avebury kept in close touch with the Forum and spoke eloquently and passionately in support of the Forum's demands.

Lord Avebury was a champion of Human Rights and a true friend of asbestos victims. He will be greatly missed in the ongoing campaign for justice for all asbestos victims.

14 January 2016

Victims Groups disappointed at Mesothelioma Fund levy cut

Click here to read press release

16 October 2015

The asbestos crisis – why Britain needs an eradication law

Asbestos victims’ groups have today welcomed proposals for a new law to remove asbestos from workplaces, public buildings and homes in Britain.

Click to

9 October 2015

Michael Lees, who set up the Asbestos in Schools group and initiated the Joint Union Asbestos Committee, stepped down from his roles in these organisations earlier this year. Michael, who lost his wife to mesothelioma, was a committed and effective campaigner on the issue of asbestos in schools. This tribute from Tony Whitston, former Forum Chair, given at an event last month to celebrate Michael’s achievements,  gives a flavour of the man.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Michael stands among that pantheon of remarkable asbestos campaigners, Alice Jefferson, June Hancock and Nancy Tait, all of whom were personally affected by mesothelioma, and through their courage, determination and sheer bloody mindedness faced down an uncaring and often callous bureaucracy.

Like Nancy Tait, Michael lost his spouse to mesothelioma and, like her, dedicated his every waking moment to fight for justice. Both were awarded an MBE. Both had to master complex, technical data to challenge government experts. Nancy’s expertise was recognised with an honorary doctorate. Michael deserves no less: in our view, anyone who can follow Robin Howie’s baffling statistics deserves the highest academic accolade!

It was said of Nancy that “She could be obstinate and uncompromising, even with those sympathetic to her cause.” We have to confess that when Michael came on the scene we soon learnt that he wasn’t taking his place in turn on any committee agenda and it was no use grumping about it. Michael was shrewd enough to recognise that the Forum was essentially a victim-first organisation and though we had our part to play we were not up to the task he had set. As things turned out, Michael gave us all a master class in how to establish an effective asbestos in schools campaign - the painstaking detail of which is known to many here who worked with Michael setting up the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) and working across the political divide.

It was said that Nancy’s benign appearance and gentleness of manner made her an unlikely campaigner.  We can recall a meeting where someone, referring to Michael, asked Who’s that posh bloke in a suit? That posh bloke in a suit, like Nancy, combined courtesy and charm with incisive shrewdness and steely determination as many a Minister and civil servant found to their cost.

Sadly, the organisation Nancy set up, OEDA, did not survive her. The same cannot be said in Michael’s case. Michael has ensured that the asbestos in schools campaign will continue on his retirement and JUAC will carry on the work he started and will build on his many achievements. That is no mean feat. All he has achieved came at great personal cost and, it has to be said, at considerable financial cost.

Michael has been an inspiration to us all, a good friend and comrade, a tireless campaigner who has an honoured place in the history of asbestos. We wish him well on his retirement.”


29 September 2015

Asbestos: Killer Fibre!

Paris, France: An explosive report released today at the 13th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation documents a shocking loss of life caused by asbestos exposures throughout the European Union (EU), with the number of deaths per year estimated to be in excess of 47,000.

The figures cited by Dr. Jukka Takala and the co-authors of this report are more than treble previous estimates but, as bad as they are, they do not tell the whole story about Europe's asbestos pandemic.

There are multiple reasons for this. The deaths counted exclude:

  • those from environmental or domestic asbestos exposures – which are killing even more people in asbestos hotspots than workplace exposures;
  • fatalities from other asbestos-related diseases such as cancers of the larynx and ovary, and possibly stomach, colorectal and pharynx cancers;
  • asbestos-related mortality from European countries not in the EU, many of which
    continue to consume large amounts of asbestos and asbestos-containing products.


27 July 2015


Asbestos victims support groups, trade unions and UK campaigning bodies are urging local authorities, government agencies and market surveillance bodies to prioritize the threat posed by the possible asbestos contamination of UK imports.


4 July 2015

Government gives way again over court costs in face of asbestos victims’ legal challenge

The Asbestos Victims Support Group’s Forum brought a judicial review challenge to the Government’s enhanced court costs which means that most mesothelioma sufferers will have to pay an average £7,500, and up to £10,000, to bring a claim for compensation.

Claimants can receive remission from paying court costs if they are on a low income and they do not have more than £16,000 in capital. Since most mesothelioma sufferers are paid approximately £16,000 in statutory compensation they would not be eligible for remission of court fees.

The Government have accepted that this was wrong and are amending the remission fee order so that statutory payments are not treated as capital. This change is effective from 3 July 2015.  

The Forum says:

“Yet again, dying mesothelioma sufferers who have very limited financial resources have had to take court action to get justice. In this case they should never have had to launch legal action to stop the Government charging £10,000 in court costs to claim compensation for the criminal negligence of employers, often Government as employer, who continued to expose them to asbestos decades after it was known to cause cancer.”

23 April 2015

Charter for Justice launched

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK has issued a Charter for Justice for asbestos victims. The Charter sets out a small number of easily affordable reforms that would make a real difference to asbestos victims.

This country owes a debt of justice to asbestos victims and their families. We all have a duty to make sure victims receive the help they need. We all have an interest in making sure that asbestos is removed from the buildings we live and work in so that no one suffers in the future. This Charter sets out how we could achieve these aims. We hope everyone can support it. In particular we would like our politicians and policy makers to support it.

Please pledge your support for the Charter for Justice today, and make sure that any politician you vote for supports it too.

Click here to view the Charter

13 March 2015

Asbestos Victims Groups Welcome Publication of Government’s  Asbestos in Schools Report. Now we need long term strategic policies to remove this deadly material from our schools
Click to

28 January 2015

UK victims of mesothelioma support Eternit victims in Italy

On 18 November 2014, a delegation of 13 Forum members travelled from the UK to Italy. Our itinerary would be to spend 2 days in Rome to witness the Italian Supreme Court's verdict on the Eternit trial - click to read more...

3 October 2014

High Court Halts Government Plans to Increase Asbestos Victims’ Legal Costs

In a stunning rebuke for the Government the High Court has today (2 October 2014) put a halt to Government plans that would have seen court damages paid to mesothelioma victims cut, a move designed to save money for the wealthy insurance companies liable to pay damages. The High Court, only two months after the damning report of the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee, found in favour of the Forum’s Judicial Review application to stop these changes being forced through.

To read the Forum’s press release click here

5 September 2014

TUC Congress 2014 Fringe Meeting Monday 8th September, 1pm in Hall 13 BT Convention Centre

Asbestos Victims– An Agenda for Justice

Speakers: Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions

Tony Whitston (Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK)

Marie Hughes (Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group)
Chair: Jennie Formby– Political Director for Unite the Union

-A buffet lunch will be provided-

Asbestos victims currently face the attacks of the insurance industry on access to compensation, as set out in their secret deal with the Coalition Government. We don’t need secret deals; we need an agenda for justice. Come along to the meeting and find out what you can do to make it a reality. To see flyer click here...

01 August 2014

Justice Committee Condemns "Maladroit" and "Unsatisfactory" Government Mesothelioma Claims Review 

In a report published today the Justice Committee heavily criticises the Government's review which ended the exemption for mesothelioma sufferers from paying legal costs associated with compensation claims. The Justice Committee says the Government must consult again following a "maladroit" review which was rushed through without ensuring that claimants received relevant information and was "shaped" by a one-sided heads of agreement between the Association of British Insurers and the Government, which was kept secret from claimants and the Justice Committee.

13 June 2014

Government secret deal with insurers exposed

A secret agreement between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Government has come to light following the Justice Select Committee hearing on mesothelioma claims.

To see the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum Press release click here

To see the exposed secret agreement click here

13 May 2014

Justice Select Committee hearing on mesothelioma claims

On the 13 May 2014 the Justice Select Committee heard evidence from claimants' and defendants' representatives at their hearing on mesothelioma claims. Doug Jewell gave evidence on behalf of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum and you can read the written Forum evidence and Doug's oral evidence as well as all written and oral evidence if you click here...

4 April

Justice Committee enquiry on Mesothelioma Claims

The Justice Select Committee has called for evidence for a short enquiry into the decision to apply the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) provisions to mesothelioma claims. Written evidence is invited by April 30 2014.

25 March 2014

Forum challenges Government response to consultation Reforming mesothelioma claims

The Government response to the consultation Reforming mesothelioma claims, 6 March 2014,confirmed the ministerial announcement, 4 December 2012, that it intended to bring into force the requirement to pay legal costs in mesothelioma claims. The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK which has applied for a judicial review of this decision sent amended arguments (grounds) to the government on 25 March rebutting the Government's response to the consultation justifying removal of the mesothelioma exception.

To read the Government response to the consultation please click here...

To read a précis of the Forum grounds challenging the decision please click here...

To read the Forum amended grounds challenging the decision please click here...

3 March 2014

The Health and Safety Executive plans to develop an asbestos behaviour change campaign in 2014.

The Health and Safety Executive have conducted research to identify key issues for an asbestos campaign in 2014. The campaign will utilise regional radio, building on the success of the Hidden Killer Campaign, and will aim to distribute asbestos information kits.

To see the HSE commissioned research click here ....

19 February 2014

New survey launches to help identify mesothelioma treatment uncertainties

An important survey has launched today that will help to inform future research into mesothelioma diagnosis, treatments and care. Click here to read it...

30 January

The Mesothelioma Bill was given royal assent on the 30 January 2014

The Mesothelioma Bill is now an Act of Parliament: The Mesothelioma Act 2014. Asbestos victims support groups welcome the new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme which will come into operation in July 2014, but will continue to campaign for improvements to the payment scheme and for payments to sufferers of asbestos diseases other than mesothelioma.

21 January 2014

Lord Alton introduces the Mesothelioma (Amendment) Bill for mesothelioma research 

Lord Alton has introduced a Private Members's Bill in the House of Lords to amend the Mesothelioma Bill to provide for the levy on insurers to include a research supplement.

To see the Bill please click here

8 January 2014

Stalwart Asbestos Victims’ Champion Paul Goggins MP has died

Paul Goggins MPPaul Goggins MP speaking at Action Mesothelioma Day Manchester
The Asbestos Victims Support Groups across the UK are deeply saddened by the news that Paul Goggins MP has died. We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Tony Whitston, Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum pays tribute to Paul Goggins.
“Paul was a true champion of asbestos victims whose plight he sympathised with, but along with a dedicated group of MPs and Peers, was also determined to do something about. As his Parliamentary colleagues will know better than anyone else, Paul was able to work across the parliamentary divide. He shepherded Lord Alton’s amendment to exempt asbestos victims from paying legal costs through the House of Commons, with strong support from the Conservative Tracey Crouch MP, eventually winning an exemption for mesothelioma sufferers. Paul was due to speak to several key amendments to the Mesothelioma Bill in the House of Commons yesterday, where many MPs paid tribute to his work on behalf of asbestos victims, still hoping for his full recovery. Sadly, his colleagues have now lost the most decent of Parliamentarians, we have lost a true friend and we send our heartfelt sympathy to Paul’s family and close friends for their incalculable loss.”

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