Gurkha campaigners meet Gordon Brown in "superb" meeting
Gurkha Justice Campaigners Joanna Lumley, Peter Carroll and Martin Howe have met Prime Minister Gordon Brown this morning prior to a midday announcement by the Home Secretary on a new Government policy on Gurkha settlement rights. The team described the meeting as "superb".
The Gurkha Justice Campaign want Gurkhas to be given the same rights to settle as soldiers from Commonwealth countries who had fought for the UK. Currently, only a fraction of those who retired before 1997 have settlement rights under the new policy announced by the Government in April. A Gurkha will have to have served 20 years or more or won one of a handful of medals: the big majority of Gurkhas served for 15 years under standard army policy.
After the announcement of the new policy, the Government were defeated in the Commons when MPs voted by 267 to 246 for a Lib Dem motion offering all Gurkhas equal right of residence, with the Tories and 27 Labour rebels backing it.