Lumley says Gurkhas must be allowed into Britain sans visa fees

February 7th, 2010 - 3:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb. 7 (ANI): British actress Joanna Lumley has re-launched her campaign for Gurkhas’ rights by demanding the Gordon Brown Government to allow retired Gurkha soldiers to enter Britain without paying visa fees.

Lumley has written to British Home Secretary Alan Johnson urging him to waive the 400 pounds entry visa fee for 178 Gurkhas who were previously blocked entry to Britain, The Telegraph reports.

Lumley’s previous high-profile interventions on behalf of the Gurkhas forced the Government into a series of embarrassing U-turns.Politicians were no match for the glamorous star as she demanded changes to the law to allow the former soldiers to remain in the country.

At the height of her campaign last year, she confronted Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, in front of television cameras and forced him to agree to her demands live on air.

Lumley, whose father was a Gurkha regiment officer, joined the Gurkha Justice campaign after veterans from Nepal, including individuals who served in the Falklands and the Gulf, had been told they would not be allowed to settle in Britain.

In May, the Government said that all retired Gurkha soldiers with at least four years service in the British Army could stay in the UK.

Some 36,000 Gurkhas had previously been denied UK residency. (ANI)

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