PM refuses Clegg's demand over Gurkhas

AN attempt to shame Gordon Brown into admitting that retired Gurkha soldiers had received a “gross injustice” failed in the Commons this afternoon.Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg used the upcoming first anniversary of Mr Brown becoming Prime Minister to poor scorn on him“Before you became Prime Minister, I think some people thought you were a man of principle.

Graham Dines

AN attempt to shame Gordon Brown into admitting that retired Gurkha soldiers had received a “gross injustice” failed in the Commons this afternoon.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg used the upcoming first anniversary of Mr Brown becoming Prime Minister to poor scorn on him

“Before you became Prime Minister, I think some people thought you were a man of principle.


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"But over the past 12 months, time and time again we have seen you abandon what you know to be right for what you think is expedient,” said Mr Clegg.

As the distressed Gurkhas prepare to march to Downing Street to return their medals in protest against what they see as shoddy treatment, Mr Clegg said: “I have asked you four times to receive these medals and every time you have refused. Will you now have the grace to receive them or will you turn them away yet again?”

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Mr Brown would have none of it. “We respect the fact that Gurkhas have fought for the UK for two centuries, they have served in conflicts throughout the world and we greatly value the contribution they make both past and present and we know they are operating in Iraq and continue to serve with great distinction in Afghanistan. The Government has improved the way we are treating the Gurkhas.

“Serving Gurkhas and some recently retired Gurkhas for the first time have membership of the armed forces pension scheme. They have a genuinely improved deal for them.”

Mr Clegg hit back saying Gurkha veterans “face deportation because your Government won't give them British citizenship. When will you act to correct this gross injustice and give those brave veterans the recognition and citizenship they deserve?”

Mr Brown repeated that the immigration rules were changed to include post-1997 Gurkhas. They had increased opportunities to obtain settlement and naturalisation.

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