Royal Navy veteran seeking cancer compensation

Fred Minall
Image caption Fred Minall said Royal Navy engineers used to get "covered head to foot" in asbestos powder

A Royal Navy veteran who is living with incurable cancer says he is waiting to hear if he will get any compensation.

Fred Minall, 74, of Northampton, said he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October after working with asbestos as a naval engineer from 1958 to 1963.

He is campaigning to get compensation in line with payouts he says civilian employees are entitled to.

Mark Lancaster, defence minister, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was "reviewing the options".

Cut-off date

Mr Minall said his diagnosis was related his service on HMS Trafalgar, where asbestos was used to insulate pipes.

He said he was not entitled to compensation because he was diagnosed before a cut-off date of 16 December 2015.

"The asbestos had to be removed and replaced by hand and we were covered head-to-foot in the white asbestos powder - we'd get it in our eyes and up our noses," he said. "I've got severe back pain, chest pain and feel pretty grotty all the time.

"What dates have got to do with it is beyond my comprehension, and they've got to step forward and pay us proper compensation in line with our civilian counterparts."

Mr Minall said he had about two months to live and wanted his three sons to benefit from any compensation payment.

Northampton South MP David Mackintosh has backed his case and told the House of Commons it was "an anomaly that we need to look at".

In a statement issued by the MoD, Mr Lancaster said: "Whether [compensation] should be applied to this group is a complex issue that has been the subject of much discussion."

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