Gurkha Settlement Rights — Government defeat — 29 Apr 2009 at 15:49

The majority of MPs voted in favour of the motion:[1]

  • This House
  • regrets the Government's recent statement[2] outlining the eligibility criteria for Gurkhas to reside in the United Kingdom;
  • recognises the contribution the Gurkhas have made to the safety and freedom of the United Kingdom for the past 200 years;
  • notes that more Gurkhas have laid down their lives for the United Kingdom than are estimated to want to live here;
  • believes that Gurkhas who retired before 1997 should be treated fairly and in the same way as those who have retired since;
  • is concerned that the Government's new guidelines will permit only a small minority of Gurkhas and their families to settle whilst preventing the vast majority;
  • further believes that people who are prepared to fight and die for the United Kingdom should be entitled to live in the country; and
  • calls upon the Government to withdraw its new guidelines immediately and bring forward revised proposals that extend an equal right of residence to all Gurkhas.

As a consequence, the alternative Government motion, which read:[3]

  • This House
  • recognises that this Government is the only one since the Second World War to allow Gurkhas and their families settlement rights to the United Kingdom;
  • notes that in 2004 the Government permitted settlement rights to Gurkhas discharged since 1997, following the transfer of the Brigade HQ from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom;
  • further notes that under these rules around 6,000 Gurkhas and family members have been welcomed to the UK;
  • acknowledges that the court judgement of September 2008 determined that the 1997 cut-off date was fair and rational, while seeking clarification of the criteria for settlement rights for those who retired before 1997;
  • further notes that on 24 April the Government published new and more generous guidelines for the settlement applications of Gurkhas who retired before 1997;
  • supports this revised guidance, which will make around 10,000 Gurkhas and family members eligible to settle in the UK;
  • further notes that the Government undertakes actively to inform those who may be eligible in Nepal of these changes and to review the impact of the new guidance within 12 months;
  • further notes that the contribution Gurkhas have made is already recognised by pensions paid to around 25,000 Gurkhas or their widows in Nepal that allow for a good standard of living there; and
  • further notes that in the year 2000 Gurkha pensions were doubled and that, earlier in April 2009, in addition to an inflationary uplift of 14 per cent., those over 80 years old received a 20 per cent. increase in their pension.

... was never voted upon.

Although this extremely rare Government defeat in an opposition day motion is not binding (has no legal force)[4] a Government minister made a statement later in the day to bring "forward the date for the determination of the outstanding applications to the end of May."[5]

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con168 0087.0%
DUP6 0066.7%
Independent5 0083.3%
Lab27 245 (+2 tell)178.6%
LDem51 (+2 tell) 0084.1%
PC3 00100.0%
SDLP1 0033.3%
SNP4 0057.1%
UUP1 00100.0%
Total:266 245181.3%

Rebel Voters - sorted by vote

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Diane AbbottHackney North and Stoke NewingtonLabaye
Ian CawseyBrigg and GooleLabaye
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabaye
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabaye
Paul FarrellyNewcastle-under-LymeLabaye
Mark FisherStoke-on-Trent CentralLabaye
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabaye
Kate HoeyVauxhallLabaye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabaye
Joan HumbleBlackpool North and FleetwoodLabaye
Glenda JacksonHampstead and HighgateLabaye
Andrew MacKinlayThurrockLabaye
Gordon MarsdenBlackpool SouthLabaye
Robert Marshall-AndrewsMedwayLabaye
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabaye
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabaye
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabaye
Nick PalmerBroxtoweLabaye
Steve PoundEaling NorthLabaye
Nick RaynsfordGreenwich and WoolwichLabaye
Andy ReedLoughboroughLabaye
Linda RiordanHalifaxLabaye
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabaye
Andrew SmithOxford EastLabaye
Paul TruswellPudseyLabaye
Keith VazLeicester EastLabaye
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabaye
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabboth

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