Page last updated at 19:55 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 20:55 UK

Mumbai victim seeks compensation

Will Pike
Mr Pike was injured when he tried to escape from the Taj Mahal hotel

A London man seriously injured in last year's Mumbai attacks has called for compensation for British victims.

Will Pike, 29, from Stanmore, north-west London, was paralysed from the waist down in the terror attack on the Taj Mahal hotel in November last year.

But he received nothing from a government compensation fund as his injuries occurred abroad. He said: "Is it just a case of tough luck?"

The government said it was re-examining its approach to compensation.

Landmarks targeted

More than 170 people died as gunmen targeted Mumbai landmarks in a series of attacks last year.

Mr Pike was injured when he tried to escape as fire raged through the Taj Mahal hotel.

On his return to the UK he discovered he was not eligible for compensation from a government scheme set up after the 7 July London bombings to help UK terror attack victims.

Mr Pike said: "Because we were British nationals we were targeted. We had holiday insurance but they don't cover terrorism."

He added: "Surely there has got to be a look at the change in policy for British people for when they go on holiday and are affected by terrorism?"

Mr Pike was offered £15,000 from a British Red Cross aid fund and his family is raising money to help him rebuild his life.

I really cannot see why, if you are a victim of terrorism abroad, you would not be looked after in exactly the same way
Lynne Featherstone MP

His MP, Lynne Featherstone, has urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to intervene.

Miss Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: "I really cannot see why, if you are a victim of terrorism abroad, you would not be looked after in exactly the same way."

She added: "You are still a British citizen, you belong to our cities. It is our duty to protect you, look after you, support you, when you are so hideously injured for the rest of your life."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Culture Media and Sport said the government has taken "a number of steps" to support Britons affected by terror attacks abroad, including donating £1m to the Red Cross fund.

"However, we recognise that more still needs to be done to ensure that victims of terrorist incidents overseas are treated in the same way as those affected by such incidents in the UK," she said.

The government is trying to find "a way forward" to address the issue of compensation, with a decision expected by the end of the year, she said.

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