GOVERNMENT ministers have recognised a crippling hand condition known as Dupuytren’s contracture as a work-related injury after sustained lobbying over the years.

In 2014, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, an independent body which advises the Government on work-related diseases and conditions, recommended Dupuytren’s contracture be listed as a compensable disease.

Easington’s Labour candidate Grahame Morris, who has been leading the campaign from inside Westminster, welcomed the decision.

He said: “The Government had ignored the recommendations of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for four-and-a-half years without cause or justification.

"I am pleased mineworkers in my constituency, who sacrificed their health in the coal industry, will receive the support they require.”

He added “Coalfield communities have shown immense patience and perseverance with a Government intent on blocking and delaying any proposals to help former mineworkers."

While those who have developed Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as miners’ claw, through work will be compensated, thousands of people across the country who have it genetically will not be.

It is not clearly understood why some people including women, are more commonly affected by the disease, which is named after Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, the French surgeon who identified it in the 19th century.