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Gurkhas 'let down again' over pensions

Former Gurkha soldiers from the South East, who claim the government regard them as second class citizens, say they've been betrayed again.

The latest people to let them down: a group of All Party MPs who've produced a report about they way Gurkhas are treated.

The MPs have made several recommendations to give them a fairer deal, especially over pensions.

But angry Gurkhas say it falls well short of the full equality they've been campaigning for - and say they feel cheated. Phil Hornby reports.

VIDEO: Gurkha hunger strike ends

He hadn't eaten for 15 days and was drifting in and out of consciousness. But today a Gurkha from Reading ended his hunger-strike, after a dramatic intervention by MPs

When Meridian highlighted Gyanraj Rai's protest on Monday, he said he was prepared to die for his cause: securing retired Gurkhas the same pensions as their British counterparts.

Today MPs brokered a deal to end the hunger-strike. The breakthrough follows a remarkable campaign by Kent schoolboy - George Taylor. Phil Hornby has this report.


Joanna Lumley to meet hunger striker

Joanna Lumley and members of the Gurkha Justice Campaign will meet with the hunger striking Gurkha, Gyanraj Rai, who is camped opposite Downing Street, to discuss the announcement on Gurkha's Welfare.

Joanna Lumley will meet hunger striking Reading Gurkha Gyanraj Rai Credit: PA

Martin Howe, solicitor and joint founder of the Gurkha Justice Campaign said:

"This presents a unique opportunity to finally settle genuine issues of concern and allows Gurkhas to continue to be held with affection by the UK Government and people.

We are grateful to Parliament for taking up these important issues and for indicating its support for the work of the Parliamentary Inquiry."

Statement on Gurkha welfare inquiry

Whilst there have been significant developments in recent years in terms of the pay and conditions of Gurkha soldiers and the extension of the right to settlement there remain some outstanding grievances which the Gurkhas are determined to have addressed. It is for this reason that the All Party Group is to hold this inquiry. This will give the Gurkhas the opportunity to make their case to a committee of Parliamentarians and for the Ministry of Defence to publicly address the points”.

– Jackie Doyle-Price, Chair of the All Party Group on Gurkha Welfare

MPs to hold inquiry into Gurkha Welfare

The All Party Group on Gurkha Welfare is to hold a committee of inquiry into the outstanding grievances on the part of retired Gurkhas and the Gurkha community in the UK.

It follows the campaigning of schoolboy George Taylor from Gravesend in Kent, who launched an e-petition on the Downing Street website.

Hunger striker Gyanraj Rai reacts to the news that there will be an inquiry Credit: ITV Meridian

Gurkhas start hunger strike

Gurkhas from Hampshire and Berkshire have started a 24 hour hunger strike in protest over equal pension rights.

Veterans are in Central London to stage their demonstration. They've already handed in a petition to Downing Street asking for the same pension as their British counterparts.

Gurkhan veterans have continued their fight for equal rights Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire


Christmas gifts for our boys abroad

They may be 3,500 miles away but soldiers serving in Afghanistan will soon be receiving Christmas presents from their families.

The wives and children of troops from the south east are sending off gifts and messages to their loved ones - many of whom are risking their lives on the front-line.

Tom Savvides speaks to soldiers' wives Jen Overland, Sonita Gambang, Nadine Ashley, and Capt Edward Thompson of 69 Squadron Gurkha Search.

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