The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has recently pledged to get the asbestos crisis sorted out after he lost a close friend to the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma. The Prime Minister recently met with a number of campaigners, MPs, and teaching unions at number 10 Downing Street to discuss the problems of asbestos in schools.

Mr Brown’s friend, Scottish MP John MacDougall, died last year from the asbestos related cancer, and the PM has now ordered ministers to find out what action local authorities are taking to deal with the asbestos crisis in the UK.

This was seen as a breakthrough by campaigners, particularly after a national newspaper reported that around nine in ten of 25,000 schools could have been built using the potentially deadly substance. Between 1980 and 2005 it is thought that around one hundred and seventy eight teachers died from cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

One teaching union official said: “The impression we got is the PM is addressing this from personal commitment. He recognises the seriousness of the issue. In the next few months you’ll see concrete proposals.”

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