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29 April 2009

Barrett hails ‘historic’ Gurkha vote

The Government at Westminster have been defeated on their proposals to restrict the right of former Gurkhas to settle in the UK.

MPs voted by 267 to 246 in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion that all Gurkhas should be offered an equal right of residence.

The defeat came despite an offer from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to start a review of the new criteria by the summer and an assurance that veterans would not be deported.

John Barrett, Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP said:

“Today’s vote was a historic occasion and a victory for fairness and common decency.

“Anyone who is prepared to give their life for this country should at least have the right to live here.

“Today’s vote has given the Government no choice but to look again at their ridiculous proposals and finally grant equal residence to all Gurkhas.”

The Government had claimed that under rule changes 4,300 Gurkhas and 6,000 dependants would be allowed to settle. The Gurkha Justice Campaign said it would be just 100.

John with Gurkhas after the vote

John with Gurkhas after the vote

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.