A cabinet minister has promised an East Lancashire MP that he will support residents across the county and wider north of England facing bills of thousands of pounds for 'no win no fee' compensation claims after a legal firm went bust.

More than 1,400 clients of Sheffield-based SSB Law have been landed with huge legal bills from failed cases over cavity wall insulation schemes.

Among those hit by the collapse of the firm and the demands for money are Yusuf Patel from Blackburn, Diane Longworth from Burnley, and the 77-year-old mother of Sean Wilkes from Burnley.

Insurers Royal and Sun Alliance has confirmed it is ‘seeking recovery of court awarded costs associated with failed actions brought by SSB Law’ but had paused any enforcement action.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority said it was investigating.

Burnley Conservative backbencher Antony Higginbotham raised the issue with leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt in Parliament.

During Business Questions he told her: "Tens of thousands of pounds—that is the bill that has landed at the door of a number of my constituents, and according to a report the constituents of MPs across the north of England.

"The bills relate to cavity wall insulation that residents had installed using a government grant.

"That cavity wall insulation was defective, and caused damp, mould and damage to property.

"When no win, no fee lawyers got in touch, residents took up the offer. That proceeded through the courts.

"They were told that they would not have to pay, but a law firm based in Sheffield, SSB Law, has now collapsed.

"There was no insurance policy for residents, and they have now been hit with legal costs because of its collapse.

"I understand that the Solicitors Regulation Authority did a forensic investigation last year and is now investigating again, but can I enlist your help to get justice for residents who have no means to pay the tens of thousands of pounds that they are being asked for, when they thought that they were doing the right thing in getting cavity wall insulation, and putting it right after it went wrong?"

Mrs Mordaunt said: "That is an appalling situation, and I am very sorry to hear about it.

"I understand that the issue has been reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and that there is an investigation into the matters that you raise.

"I am sure that you will support his constituents with any complaints that they wish to make to the legal ombudsman and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

"You will know that justice oral questions are scheduled to take place on February 20, but the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities might also be able to assist, perhaps with some of the schemes that it has in place to help to regenerate communities and tackle some of these issues.

"I will write to the department and ask whether it can assist him."

Mr Higginbotham told the BBC after the Commons exchange: "I felt like I needed to stand up and say something.

"These are life-changing sums of money that people are being asked to pay with almost no notice.

"Many of the demands I've seen basically ask for immediate payment."