Brit actress Lumley turns the screws on PM Brown over Gurkha issue

May 8th, 2009 - 2:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, May 8 (ANI): Actress Joanna Lumley has turned the screws on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown over the Gurkhas again with an extraordinary public intervention in politics that put the Government under ever greater pressure to improve the veterans’ treatment. A day after Brown personally intervened in the explosive row over the Gurkhas, Lumley maneuvered the Government into unprecedented public negotiations over the veterans’ rights live on television.

The actress, who has been campaigning for more Nepalese veterans to be allowed to settle in Britain, sprang an ambush on Phil Woolas the immigration minister, in a Westminster television studio, The Telegraph reports.

Standing alongside the minister, Lumley declared that she and her campaigning allies would now help write new immigration rules for the Gurkhas.

The minister and the actress ended up shoulder-to-shoulder after Lumley signalled she was about to denounce the Government over its treatment of Gurkhas who had applied to settle in the UK.

She had called a press conference to highlight the apparent rejection of immigration applications by several Gurkha veterans, including two decorated veterans of the Falklands War.

When she arrived at the television studio, she encountered Woolas. The two held an impromptu private meeting, where the minister reassured Lumley that the rejected veterans’ cases will automatically be reconsidered within weeks.

The row centres on immigration rules for Gurkhas who retired before 1997, which were put in place last month and which campaigners say would severely limit the number of veterans able to settle in the country they fought for. (ANI)

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