A GROUP of cancer sufferers and their families have released their own hard-hitting film calling on the Government to amend the law on asbestos compensation.

The North-East Mesothelioma Self Help Group is seeking bereavement compensation to be increased in line with payments made in Scotland.

Mesothelioma is the fatal cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure.

And Anne Craig from Hebburn, who lost her 54-year-old husband David to the killer disease said today: "How or why can my grief and the grief, pain and loss of widows and families in England and Wales be any less than that of widows and families in Scotland?'' David Drew from Blyth who is suffering from mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos as an apprentice added: "I feel passionately that we should all be the same regardless of what side of the border we live on.

"My wife should be compensated the same as a widow in Scotland following my death.'' Families in England Wales receive tens of thousands of pounds less in compensation that their counterparts in Scotland.

Now the film, which features sufferers as well as those who have lost family members to the disease shows the full extent of suffering and grief of those affected.

Members of the Self Help Group set up by Chris Knighton, of Wallsend whose husband died of the disease, hopes their film will encourage MPs to put pressure on the Government.

Chris said: "Our members feel very strongly about this injustice. The issue affects every one of us and hundreds more across the North-East alone.

"Why should the grief and sorrow of families in England and Wales be treated any differently to our neighbours in Scotland.?'' Thompsons Solicitors head of asbestos policey, Ian McFall said: "This campaign is intended to benefit families affected by mesothelioma, like those in the North East Mesothelioma Self Help Group.

"£10,000 is a derisory sum for the grief caused by the death of a close family member. Whole families suffer terribly when they lose a loved one to mesothelioma. They carry the emotional burden with them the rest of their lives.'' The film, which will be emailed to all MPs is accessible at www.thompsons.law.co.uk/ntext/justice-for-asbestos-families-dvd.htm.