Persistent Joanna celebrates victory for Gurkha veterans

Thursday May 21, 2009

After campaigning relentlessly on behalf of the Gurkhas over their right to reside in Britain, Joanna Lumley relished victory on Thursday when the government confirmed that all Nepalese who served in the regiment and retired before 1997 with at least four years' service will be allowed to settle in the UK.  

"This is the welcome we have always longed to give," said the Absolutely Fabulous star, calling the Prime Minister, whom she'd met earlier, a "brave man who has made today a brave decision on behalf of the bravest of the brave".  

Some 36,000 Gurkhas who left before 1997 had been denied UK residency.  

On Wednesday Gordon Brown told the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions that he had a "great deal of sympathy and support" for the Gurkhas.   "I believe it is possible for us to honour our commitments to the Gurkhas and to do so in a way that protects the public finances," he added

Photo: ę PA

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