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 Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office, Minister of State (also in the Home Office), HM Treasury 7:43 pm, 29th April 2009

Thank you. I pay tribute to the role of my hon. Friend and his colleague, my hon. Friend Mrs. Humble. I am aware of the importance of the issue in Blackpool—Britain's finest tourist destination. [Hon. Members: "Oh!"] The Conservative party's policy seems to be to decry Blackpool. The intent of the policy on the 20 years' service was to recognise the judge's ruling that the guidelines should be clear and should take into account both quality and quantity of service. People have ascribed to us unfairly a motive that did not exist. Under the current guidelines, the 20 years takes in 2,000 Gurkhas who would not have been included, had we not introduced the 20 years criterion. Clearly, we will need to consider the matter in the light of the view of the House and bring forward revised proposals in the review.

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