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Councillors back Gurkha campaign

COUNCILLORS from across the political spectrum have agreed to back a campaign to help the Gurkhas.

COUNCILLORS from across the political spectrum have agreed to back a campaign to help the Gurkhas.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday evening, members voiced their support for a recent court decision - which ruled in the favour of Gurkha rights.

The leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Ken Meeson, said that he had met a group of Gurkhas when attending the Tory party conference a few weeks ago.

He had spoken to the group who were protesting outside the building and signed a petition which called for better treatment.

The motion he proposed will urge the Government to accept the court's latest judgement and to ensure the Gurkhas are eligible for British citizenship.

Members will also ask local MPs to support any Early Day Motions that seek a fair deal for Gurkha families.

Addressing the meeting, Coun Meeson said: "I think its a matter of honour for this country that we do look after these people who have given such service to us over many years."

He went on to explain that a member of his family had served as an officer with a Gurkha brigade during the Second World War. Several other members also related stories about family members who'd fought alongside the Gurkhas.

Councillors Norman Davies and Mick Corser, the leaders of the Liberal Democrat and Labour group respectively, wholeheartedly backed the motion.

"I think that we all do feel a sense of shame for the way the Gurkhas have been treated," said Coun Davies.

Fact File:

* The Gurkhas are a group of soldiers from Nepal who have fought for the British Army for nearly 200 years * Their traditional weapon is the kukri -a fearsome 18 inch knife * Over the decades, Gurkha soldiers have won a total of 13 Victoria Crosses * 43,000 lost their lives fighting in the two World Wars * More recently there has been controversy about their treatment.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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