Decision to keep legal aid is welcomed

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SUFFERERS of an asbestos-related condition will still get funding to take their former employers to court.

Yesterday the government decided against scrapping legal aid for victims of lung disease mesothelioma.

The condition develops after people have had exposure to asbestos.

The government had intended to stop funds in April 2013, but this has now been delayed until a ‘later date’ so ministers can review the process.

The news has been welcomed by Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North.

She said: ‘This is great news and the only aspect of the Legal Aid Bill that I did not support.

‘These are victims of industry and need financial help.

‘Given the prognosis of the disease, you don’t want to delay or compromise any redress.

‘There is a procedure within the NHS to deal with this sort of thing at a lower cost.

‘But for these people legal bills can become high.’

Mesothelioma cases are high in Portsmouth due to asbestos being used in the dockyards.

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used to make building materials more rigid and fire resistant.

Many people who had been breathing in the substance have developed lung diseases, including cancer mesothelioma.

‘Of course it’s not just the workers that were exposed,’ added Ms Mordaunt.

‘Spouses were affected too.’