Barking and Dagenham and Havering have a proud history of manufacturing industries that helped drive Britain's prosperity and place in the world, but this did not come without a price. Whilst the factories such as Cape Asbestos in Barking town centre closed many years ago, the long-term impacts of diseases such as mesothelioma are still impacting the local community.

Jon Cruddas MP has long fought for the families, often the widows, of workers who suffered as a result of working with asbestos. From 2006 to the end of 2010 Havering's death rate for mesothelioma was nearly double the national average. Jon was at the forefront of the campaign which established the ‘fund of last resort' in 2014 which provides compensation to workers and families affected by mesothelioma.

This compensation scheme is up for review on 1st April 2021. At present the compensation scheme does not provide adequate support for family members who became victims of this terrible disease when their spouses or parents came home from work carrying on asbestos fibres on their clothes.

Jon Cruddas MP: "this review of the ‘fund of last resort' is welcome and is an opportunity for the scheme to be properly updated to offer wider support for families of workers. In the coming days I will be working with other Labour MPs calling for justice, and equal compensation for the families who have suffered as a direct result of asbestos related work.

"It's great that we celebrate Britain's industrial history, but we need to also remember that much of our success came at a cost to the workers and families who delivered it. Families across Dagenham and Rainham and those in other working-class communities suffering from mesothelioma deserve a more comprehensive support package."