Gurkhas

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 7:43 pm on 29th April 2009.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 7:43 pm, 29th April 2009

Nobody doubts the Government's commitment to the Gurkhas, given what the Government have done so far. The problem has been the way in which the issue has been handled. I wrote to the Minister on 4 November last year, setting out a clear and unanimously agreed policy put forward by the Home Affairs Committee. He took six months to reply to that letter, and answered it last Friday. As the debate went on, the policy was changed by the Home Secretary, who e-mailed Members of the House announcing a change in policy regarding the review. That is not the best way to handle a sensitive policy of this kind. However, I welcome the Minister's commitment to working with the Select Committee, and I am extremely grateful to the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend Mr. Jones, and the Minister for agreeing to come before the Select Committee next Tuesday. Let us have a commitment to work with Parliament and the Select Committee, so that we can have a just policy for the Gurkhas.

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