A Northampton MP says armed forces veterans should be given compensation for developing an aggressive form of lung cancer through their service.
David Mackintosh will lead a House of Commons debate today in support of service personnel who have developed mesothelioma as a result of active duty.
The aggressive lung cancer is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Although the illness can take many years to develop, those with the cancer will generally die within two years of diagnosis.
Civilians suffering from it are eligible for compensation under the Mesothelioma Act 2014, but an anomaly which means veterans who suffered injury before 1987 cannot sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD), has left some ex-service personnel unable to claim compensation.
The debate in Parliament was called by Mr Mackintosh after he met with a constituent who has been diagnosed with the cancer and is in support of the Royal British Legion campaign to get fair compensation for veterans with the illness.
The Northampton South MP said: “When my constituent, Fred, came to see me and tell me about the problems he was facing, I was very moved.
“I was also shocked that an anomaly in the system had put him in this position, and concerned that there may be many other veterans like Fred who are suffering from mesothelioma but who are not receiving the support now available to other sufferers outside of the military.”
Mr Mackintosh said he is backing the Royal British Legion campaign to see affected veterans receive “fair and appropriate compensation,” and says such veterans should be able to choose between a traditional War Disablement Pension or “one-off compensation.”
He added: “I hope the debate will bring this fight a step closer to being resolved.”