Committee summons Government Ministers to give evidence

The Home Affairs Committee today expressed its dismay at the Government's decision not to grant settlement rights in the UK to all former Gurkhas, and decided to call Ministers from the Home Office and Ministry of Defence to give evidence on the reasons for the decision and on the consequences for former Gurkha soldiers awaiting the outcome of their appeals.

The Committee took evidence in November on the Gurkha case and urged the Home Secretary in an open letter to "take urgent action to redress the currently unfair situation by extending settlement rights in the UK to all former Gurkhas".

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said:

" The Committee was tremendously impressed by the merits of the Gurkha argument and the dignity with which they have attempted to redress a great injustice.

It is indisputable that the UK owes an historic debt of gratitude to the Gurkhas for their brave, loyal and distinguished service in the defence of this country. Natural justice as well as moral rectitude dictates that we should treat them equally to any other individual prepared to fight and die for this country.

We are extremely disappointed therefore that the Government has stalled once again on this issue, and we urge it to reconsider its decision and do the honourable thing, late rather then never".

The Committee has this morning agreed to publish in full the evidence it received on the Gurkhas, along with the Government's response. This will be available on the Committee's website from 11.00am on Friday 1st May.