Salter parliament on Gurkhas – proud to be a hypocrite


Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)

One organisation that has been actively campaigning against settlement rights for the brave Gurkha soldiers is the odious British National party (and the Labour party, fnar fnar), which is circulating a leaflet defacing the image of the recently fallen Corporal Kumar Pun, a man who gave his life for this country. Would the Minister not agree that it is high time that the Gurkha settlement issue was resolved in favour of the historic debt of honour that this country owes Corporal Pun and his comrades?

Phil Woolas (Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office; Oldham East & Saddleworth, Labour)

I thank my hon. Friend for his question and repeat the assurance that we gave the House on 29 April that we are working on new proposals. I am grateful to the Home Affairs Committee, of which my hon. Friend is a member, for its facilitation of that discussion. On the British National party, all of us in the House would recognise that the increased scrutiny of that party is now exposing the true nature of its policies. I imagine that we would all wish to condemn wholeheartedly its policy of instructing its members not to describe people as being “black British” or “British Asian”, and its comments regarding the footballers Ferdinand, Walcott and James as not being English,

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect on the settlement rights of Gurkhas of the implementation of the points-based immigration system.

Phil Woolas (Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office; Oldham East & Saddleworth, Labour)
The settlement rights of Gurkhas are entirely separate from the routes to enter the United Kingdom through the points based system.
It will therefore have no effect on the implementation of the points based immigration system.

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
In a month that has been appalling for the House of Commons and made many of us feel almost ashamed to be here, I want to say unequivocally that I am proud to be a Member of the House of Commons today. This has been a rare good day for Parliament. I invite the Home Secretary to pay tribute to the work of the all-party group on Gurkha rights, and in particular Bob Russell and the long-time Gurkha campaigner, Miss Widdecombe. Today is an example of Members of Parliament from across the House working with a brilliant and inspirational campaign out there in the country that touched the very core of the British sense of fair play and doing the right thing by people who are prepared to risk their lives for our country. I thank the Home Secretary and the Government for belatedly seeing the light.

Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary; Redditch, Labour)
I am certainly willing to pay tribute both to my hon. Friend, who has worked hard to raise the issue of Gurkha settlement both with me and the Government, and in the House, and to the all-party group on Gurkha rights for its work, and in particular Bob Russell and Miss Widdecombe, as he said. The detailed work carried out by those representatives and by the Home Affairs Committee on reaching a common view on the likely numbers involved in settlement—and, therefore, the likely costs—has also been important in enabling us to move to today’s policy announcement. I thank my hon. Friend and members of the Committee for facilitating that work.

Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary; Redditch, Labour)
I certainly believe that, as my right hon. Friend has said, the work facilitated by the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday, with the input of officials across Government, Gurkha representatives and members of the Committee has been very important in providing us with the basis for the proposals, on which it has been possible to move forward today confident that we can fulfil our duty to the Gurkhas in line with our responsibility to taxpayers and our broader immigration policy. I thank him for his leadership in bringing that forward.
I am always slightly wary of accepting invitations to travel anywhere with my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, West, great though he has been in this campaign.

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)

Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary; Redditch, Labour)
I am getting myself into trouble, so I shall leave it there.

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 11:10 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just for clarity. The BNP is not circulating that leaflet its a dirty trick made out by a group that calls itself TWAFA [dont ask me what it means].

    The Sun has been forced to take the story down, but wont print a retraction, but Joanna Lumley [or whatever her name is, the ab-fab chick] has apologised to the BNP of accusing them of attacking the Ghurkas.

    In reality the BNP supports settlement rights for retired Ghurkas, its on their website.

  2. This has nothing to do with thread. The BNP is a vile racist party, but I agree wth them that Poles are thieves (they eat fish) and Gyppos are bad bad bad.

  3. Off topic – Help with PM?
    lost password
    Boss Resurfacing
    Boss Resurfacing

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