Tory MP claims she has been 'gagged by party bosses' after criticising asbestos compensation payouts

January 03, 2014 at 12:49 PM

A Tory MP claims party bosses have gagged her after she blasted “unfair” compensation for people exposed to deadly asbestos.

Tracey Crouch was lined up to sit on a committee of MPs set up to thrash out a deal for victims of asbestos-related mesothelioma.

But she was ditched after branding average compensation levels 'incredibly unfair'.

Her shipyard seat covering Chatham in Kent has one of the UK’s highest mesothelioma rates.

Last week, she won praise from MPs and campaigners after criticising the payouts because they were only 75 per cent of average compensation levels.

She said: “I was told I was going to be on the committee and then – as soon as I made that speech – I was off it. So you can draw your own conclusions.

“I feel I have let down the victims of mesothelioma by not being able to press for these changes on the committee. I’ve been neutered.”

Labour MP and former Defence Minister Kevan Jones said: “This is completely outrageous, when Tracey actually knows something about the subject and cares passionately about it.

“It shows how weak the Government’s arguments are. Mesothelioma victims and their families are being let down.”

The legislation is designed to compensate victims of mesothelioma who have been unable to trace the employer who exposed them to the deadly asbestos dust.

Nearly 2,400 people, mostly men, die from mesothelioma every year – of which 300 do not have an insurer or an insure who can be traced.

Asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction and the motor industry, exposing workers.

By Vincent Moss