Committee roundtable on Gurkha settlement rights: recommendations to Government

On Tuesday 19 May 2009, the Home Affairs Select Committee hosted a roundtable discussion in private between representatives of Gurkha groups and the Government on the issue of settlement rights for all Gurkhas.

The Committee sought to clarify the figures being advanced on both sides in relation to the numbers of ex-Gurkhas and dependents who might take up settlement if offered, the costs and benefits to the UK of extending settlement, and Gurkha pensions.

The Committee has now written to the Prime Minister with the conclusions of today's roundtable discussions, to inform the Government's revision of its policy and guidance on Gurkha settlement. This letter is attached as an appendix.

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

" For over six months the Committee has been urging the Government to revise its policy and extend settlement rights to all former Gurkhas, irrespective of when they retired from the British Army."

" We hope that today's discussion which involved all parties will drive forward progress, and urge the Government to use our conclusions as a catalyst to announcing a much-needed change in policy."

Appendix: Letter from Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman Home Affairs Select Committee to Rt Hon Gordon Brown, Prime Minister - 19 May 2009