David Cameron should say sorry for the death of my father

Elaine Watson
Elaine Watson

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THE daughter of a man who died from a form of ‘preventable’ cancer wants an apology from the government.

Nicholas Cox died in November 2012, aged 81, from mesothelioma – a cancer that forms in the lungs after exposure to asbestos.

Nicholas Cox

Nicholas Cox

The material was used as insulation in buildings and dockyards before it was realised inhaling its fibres could lead to cancer.

Mr Cox’s daughter Elaine Watson, 55, of Portsdown Avenue, Drayton, said that although the government realised the dangers in the 1960s, the material was not removed until the ’80s meaning her father could have been prevented from exposure.

The mum-of-three said: ‘My father worked as a police officer in Portsmouth for 30 years, and during that time he used to visit the dockyard.

‘This was during the ’60s, and onwards.

‘He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2012, and despite having treatment, he died only nine months later.

‘It was so harrowing – he was my mum’s carer and looked after my three children.

‘But towards the end he wasn’t himself and he didn’t deserve that.

‘If they knew about the dangers, why didn’t they remove it sooner?’

Mrs Watson wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in March this year, asking for a meeting and an apology.

A letter from his office this month said: ‘The prime minister appreciates you taking the time and trouble to write to him with your meeting request.

‘However, owing to the enormous pressures on his diary, I regret it will not be possible to arrange a meeting.’

Her letter has been passed on to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mrs Watson also sent a copy of the letter to Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt.

She said: ‘I am sorry Mrs Watson feels the way she does, and that more cannot be done. We have shown what we have done to help those with problems and recognised health issues with the new legislation passed in January, to help families seek compensation.’