Parliamentary Presentation to Asbestos Victims' Champion
In the countdown to the General Election, the final meeting took place of the Asbestos Sub-Committee at Westminster on March 2, 2010. As the Chairperson of this body Michael Clapham MP, is retiring at the end of the Parliamentary Session, this was the last meeting over which he was due to preside. Mick, as he is universally known, played a pivotal role not only in the formation of the Sub-Committee in 2000 but also in lobbying Government for measures to improve the lives of asbestos sufferers.
Highlighting Mick's hard work over the last decade, Tony Whitston, Chair of the Forum of Asbestos Victims' Support Groups (the Forum), said:
The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum would like to pay tribute to Michael Clapham MP at this last meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health - Asbestos Sub Committee before his retirement. It is 10 years since the Asbestos Sub-Committee was established, chaired by Michael. In that time a great deal has been achieved including: 100% IIDB for mesothelioma sufferers and a maximum lump sum payment; payments to those affected by the Chester Street insolvency; the reversal of the Barker judgment; payments to T&N claimants and the establishment of the 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme.
Michael's role has been crucial in all of these achievements, and many more. His background as a mine worker, trade union official and campaigner for all those affected by occupational injury and disease has given us a true champion in Parliament for asbestos victims, especially those who suffer from mesothelioma, the worst of all diseases. His familiar mantra 'nothing happens quickly in this place and nothing happens without pressure' was true, but over time much has happened and, largely, due to Michael's dedicated work on behalf of all asbestos victims.
To mark Mick's retirement, an original oil painting was presented to him by the painter, Michael Lees, a leading member of the Asbestos in Schools Campaign, and representatives of the Forum: Paula Walker and John Flanagan.
|Mick Clapham (centre) with Paula Walker and John Flanagan.|
March 9, 2010