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MP's shock vote against Gurkhas

PUBLISHED: 17:55 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 07 September 2010

FRANK Dobson has shocked party members by voting against giving Gurkha veterans the right to settle in the UK. The MP for Holborn and St Pancras voted with the Government last night, in favour of their rules restricting the rights of Gurkhas, who have fo

FRANK Dobson has shocked party members by voting against giving Gurkha veterans the right to settle in the UK.

The MP for Holborn and St Pancras voted with the Government last night, in favour of their rules restricting the rights of Gurkhas, who have fought in the British Army, settling here.

A motion was heard in the Commons condemning the Government's hard-line stance on Gurkhas and calling for all the veterans to be allowed to live here.

Labour Councillor in Camden Roger Robinson, who is a former soldier himself, said he was disappointed that his party's Government and local MP weren't backing the Gurkhas but delighted campaigners won the vote.

"I am sorry to hear Frank voted with the Government," he said.

"Gurkhas fought for our country and as a former soldier myself I have the highest respect for them. I am very disappointed in the Government and just hope they now go with what was said by Parliament."

Until 2004 Gurkhas were not allowed to settle in the UK.

The government changed the rules permitting Gurkhas who retired after 1997 to settle but refused to budge on the remaining retired military men and their families.

The motion supported by both opposition parties and Labour rebels, including Glenda Jackson, has no binding effect on Government but is being viewed as a step towards further extending the rules.

Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone voted in favour of the motion, put forward by her party as an opposition day debate.

Westminster MP Karen Buck and Finchley and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis were both absent from the vote.

Actress Joanna Lumley has led the campaign because her father served with Gurkhas in Burma.


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