A coroner must hold an inquest into deaths which are reported to him which he has reasonable cause to suspect of being unnatural. This would usually include diseases contracted at work such as mesothelioma. Investigations into these kinds of deaths will continue in a reformed system, but will be governed by national standards set by a new chief coroner.
Ms Harman: I have received the report of the British Lung Foundation on the investigation of mesothelioma deaths. My officials attended the launch of the report and have met subsequently with representatives of the British Lung Foundation. The report’s recommendations will be taken into account as reform proposals are further developed.