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 Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Labour, Blackpool South 7:43 pm, 29th April 2009

The debt of honour that we owe to the Gurkhas is one that has been felt particularly strongly in Blackpool because of the historic connections of the town with the far east in the second world war and since. The issues have been brought home forcefully to me and to my hon. Friend Mrs. Humble. Having been dismayed at the initial proposals, I welcome the changes that were announced not just in the debate this afternoon, but in the further statement that my hon. Friend has made. They underline what the Government have done for Gurkhas over the past five years, which was too often forgotten in today's debate.

One point of contention today was the issue of 20 years' service. I heard some of the explanations relating to the lower ranks, but if my hon. Friend were able to give us, perhaps during his appearance before the Select Committee, a full and definitive account of how the roll-over period from 15 years works to benefit lower ranks, that would be greatly appreciated.

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