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GURKHA CAMPAIGN - GOVERNMENT LOSES VOTE

May 6, 2009 4:22 PM

Stockton Liberal Democrats are calling on Dari Taylor MP for Stockton South to support the Gurkhas after she voted against proposals to allow those who fought for Britain to remain in the UK.

Parliamentary Spokesperson, Jacquie Bell, had contacted Dari Taylor before the Opposition Day debate on 29th April and asked her to support the Liberal Democrat motion calling for fairer treatment of those Gurkhas who retired before 1997. Jacquie has now contacted the MP to say she is disappointed that she voted to back the Government's policy of deporting Gurkhas. She has asked why Ms Taylor voted as she did.

The vote on a Liberal Democrat motion supporting the Gurkhas resulted in a defeat for the Government. This was the first defeat of a Government in an Opposition debate since 1978.

Jacquie said " I am disappointed that Dari Taylor voted for Gurkhas to be deported from the UK. Stockton Councillor for Eaglescliffe , Alan Lewis noted the human rights issues in a discussion at the Council on the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.Local Lib Dems including myself and Cllr Maureen Rigg signed a petition for Gurkha rights at our Bournemouth conference. The Government was defeated because a number of Labour MPs voted for natural justice rather than the party line.

The Government has a moral duty to support those who have put their lives on the line to protect the UK. Gurkhas who retired before 1997 are treated differently to those who have retired since and to Commonwealth veterans. I am sorry that Dari Taylor voted against their rights.

The Government must take notice of the will of Parliament and bring back a fairer deal for the Gurkhas. The Liberal Democrats will be continuing their long campaign to support these brave men."