Gurkhas win court case as Joanna Lumley launches new petition

Good news from the courts today:

A group of retired Gurkhas fighting for the right to settle in Britain have won their immigration test case at London’s High Court.

They were challenging immigration rules which said that those who retired from the British Army before 1997 did not have an automatic right to stay.

Prominent supporter actress Joanna Lumley said it was a “chance to right a great wrong”.

The government said it would now review all Gurkhas’ cases. (BBC)

Meanwhile, Joanna Lumley has today launched a new online petition to press for justice for Gurkhas – getting a promise of a review from the government is not the same as securing success for the campaign. The petition, which is also being backed by Nick Clegg, is at

Nick Clegg said:

This ruling rightly condemns the Government’s shameful decision to deny these veterans the right to live here and gain British citizenship after years of service and distinguished conduct.

The Government must now allow all Gurkhas who risked their lives serving in our armed forces to become British citizens.

If someone is prepared to die for our country they should have the right to live in our country. (

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This entry was posted in News.


  • David Young 30th Sep '08 - 7:50pm

    I fully support the campaign for the Gurkhas the served this country to be given British citizenship.

  • I fully support the Ghurka’s claim to live in this country

  • dawn taylor 30th Sep '08 - 8:10pm

    if these people are prepared to lay down their lives for our country,then our doors and shores should be well and truly opened for them

  • helen george 30th Sep '08 - 8:33pm

    saw the video and totally rooting for the laws to change to allow these people the justice they truly deserve

  • Carol Harrison 30th Sep '08 - 8:58pm

    If these people are prepared to fight for this country and lay down their lives, they should automaticaly be given the right to live here, so yes I fully support the Ghurka’s and their claim to live in this country.

  • steve gresham 30th Sep '08 - 10:16pm

    I would like to take this oppotunity to thank all the Gurkhas that have served this country in peace and war and to remember those who have payed the ultimate price,I can say that everyone I have spoken to feels that we owe them a debt of gratitute, we strongly feel that all Gurkhas and there families should have automatic British citizenship.

  • Richard Wittmack 1st Oct '08 - 12:07am

    It is a national disgrace that the Gurkhas have had to go to Court in order to get some justice. Whoever directed that the Gurkhas had no proven link to the UK should hang their head in shame. Successive UK Governments have betrayed the loyalty, bravery and devotion to the UK which these men and their families have shown. Mr Brown – Do the right thing for once and let the 2000 in NOW.

  • STEVEN LANGLEY 1st Oct '08 - 12:21am


  • I find it appalling that people who have fought for this country are treated so badly.Perhaps if they had threatened to blow us up they might have been welcomed in with open arms.Then given lots of benefits and a house.How are you supposed to instill good morals into your children.

  • I fully support the Gurkha Campaign.
    I am Ex Ryal Navy(24 years).
    I served with the Gurkhas.They should never had to go through this humiliation.They are fiercely loyal when they take they oath: “To serve Queen and Country”.They are proud of their Service,and would probably be a good Borders Force,when their Military commitment is over.

  • It is an abomination that it should have got this far. My uncle who served with the Gurkhas will be spinning in his grave at the gross injustice of making those who took an oath to fight for Queen and Country have to fight in a court of law for something we hand out willy-nilly to other people. The polititians who sit in comfort today are only there because of the sacrifices of these brave men.
    Well done Joanna and those who have brought this to the fore.

  • I truly believe that it is disgraceful that this, and other governments of this country, should treat these gallant soldiers in this despicable manner. They have meant more to our country than most of the imigrants who have been allowed to settle here. I also believe that the pensions that the Gurkha’s receive should be in line with that which our servicemen receive. We have always lived cheaply off of the high cost these excellent soldiers have paid in service to this country, its about time we appreciated their devotion to us.

  • The decision to deny the Gurkha veterans the right to live here and to gain British Citizenship is indeed shameful and morally indefensible. It shows the Government’s total lack of appreciation of British history and what it means.
    They have humiliated the most loyal best friends this country has ever had in a most disgraceful manner. This injustice must be corrected without delay.
    I also believe that their pension entitlements should be the same as our other servicemen. Act with honour.

  • steve gresham 2nd Oct '08 - 12:44am

    just like to add we have the best military forces in the world!!it is about time we showed all of them how much we appreciate them and treat them properly during and after service.

  • Keith Hendry 2nd Oct '08 - 2:05am

    Any Scots Guardman who fought alongside the Gurkha’s against the Argentiian Marine 5th infantary battalion on Mount Tumbledown in the Falklands War on 13th June 1982 (the Argentinian’s best & only regular regiment) will tell what an honour it is to have these fine fighting men by your side. They are Gods & fantastic fighting men with exceptional dicipline. Above all they are warm polite & lovely human beings. I worked at Terminal 5 during construction & ex Gurkha’s carried out the security with sensativity & politness, I only wish they were still our security men at Heathrow I could not feel safer than when these wonderful people looking after me. Shame on the British state for their prevarication. God bless all Gurkha men serving or ex serving they are welcome in my home any day it would be an honour to give these wonderful people some Scottish hospitality. Keith Hendry

  • Caroline Shields 2nd Oct '08 - 10:14am

    We should be honoured to have the Gurkhas and their families living here amongst us, they deserve the best we can offer them. It is a disgrace that this has to be discussed and there should be no debate about it. They are worthy citizens, any country would be proud to have them.

  • Paul Richards 2nd Oct '08 - 6:16pm

    Hardy anyone in government has ever served in the armed forces,so perhaps we must forgive their ignorance about the Gurkhas.I served with them in Malaysia,1951/1953 as a National Serviceman.These soldiers are the finest fighting men in the world,and should automatically be allowed into the UK.They have served this country since the 18th.century.We will fight to get them all into this country if they wish.
    This government has allowed into this country thousands of undesirables,who have never,and would never fight for this country.This is why this government must go now,as they are too ignorant to even begin to understand what a Gurkha is.Support the Gurkha Welfare Trust,and its chairman,Colonel Commandant,The Brigade of Gurkhas.This Trust supports hundreds of ex Gurkha soldiers and their families,in Nepal.At the outbreak of war in 1939,their Prime Minister proclaimed “Does a friend desert a friend in a time of need?…….and more than 100,000 Gurkhas left their villages in the Himalayas to fight with us.

  • Errol Clulow 2nd Oct '08 - 11:31pm

    Any Gurkha who has served with or alongside the British Army should be entitled to British Citizenship by right, let alone the right of residence.

  • Jean Scovell 3rd Oct '08 - 7:44am

    All Gurkhas and their families should be given British Citizenship without question, if they are good enough to die for this Country they are good enough to receive every entitlement available. How anyone can say that they do not have a strong link with this Country should not be in a position of power in Government. I despair when I read of all the undesirables who are allowed to live here on benefits and given houses etc. Who makes these unintelligent decisions?

  • FRANCES SILVESTER 3rd Oct '08 - 10:14am

    A wonderful day for the Gurkhas.I hope this is the petition ? well done and hopefully now it will go into law.

  • The treatment of the gurkas is appalling. They deserve British citizenship.

  • gary saunders 3rd Oct '08 - 9:34pm

    this government should hang there heads in shame.

  • If ever I was in a tight corner it would be a Ghurka I would like by my side. If they were good enough to fight for this country, they are good enough to live here. Good luck Joanna.

  • play the ball, squiff, it’s Saturday.

  • It is scarcely credible that such a fine and committed people should even have to apply to stay in Britain – for all their tireless and fearless on this country’s behalf during wartime, they should be awarded the freedom of the country!The Home Secretary questions the “sufficiency” of their links with this country. Thirteen V.C.s – how strong a link do they have to have? Ms. Smith shoul divert her attention to questioning the “sufficiency” of the links of that plague of festering fundamentalist who, whilst living off the proceeds of MY hard work, continue to spout their hatred of all things British and continue to live unmolested in this country

  • My dad is 83 & is so upset what they are trying to do to the GHURKA’S, he served with them. He said they are such brave & loyal friends to us, they should be allowed to stay. GOOD LUCK JOANNA WE ARE WITH YOU ON THIS. My dad IORWERTH HARRIS

  • Pat Farrell (Ex S/Sgt REME) 7th Oct '08 - 9:27am

    I have thought about returning my Medals in protest to the treatment of our loyal friends and brothers the Ghurkas, but for one ex soldier to do it would be pointless, but if all ex soldiers were to show their support in this way, it would be very embarrasing to the government

  • Joanna Lumley for London Mayor! (You need a celeb for that sort of thing, as BoJo has shown.)

  • I believe that the brave gurkhas should automaticly be allowed to stay after there service ends or are forced out due to injuries received in service, not just thoes in service since 1998 but all who helped this country.
    We have to keep and support TERRORISTS who claim all benifits going and are not deported for any feeble excuse they come up with,just to get a good life at tax payers expense.

  • Heather Howells 10th Oct '08 - 11:48pm

    I whole heartedly support the campaign for the gurkhas to be allowed to reside in this country. I feel truely honoured that they should wish to live in this country.

  • Dan and Ann Daley 11th Oct '08 - 11:17am

    We want to see the fair play which we feel is due to these incredible men.

    Let us be done with the pussyfooting and let the Government (of whatever hue) grasp the nettle and deal with this properly once and for all. No more prevaricating. The people of this country have spoken loud and clear.

  • Freeloaders OUT! Ghurca’s in!!!!

  • Any Gurkha who has served with or alongside the British Army should be entitled to British Citizenship by right, let alone the right of residence they should also have the same wages & pension rights as any other soldier serving in the british army.

  • Nick Stevens 12th Oct '08 - 8:01pm

    I quote Steven Langley and agree absolutely:


  • gurkhas should be allowed to live in britain they have done a good job for us

  • The mind boggles. We should be proud to have these wonderful brave people living in our country, after all they have done for us. They should have the same pensions as British ex servicemen. Should not even be up for discussion. We support many many individuals who do nothing for this Country except stir up hatred for all things Western… How ironic

  • I fully agree with the sentiments expressed … these fine men have every right to settle and be part of Britain .
    Everyone I know shares my views .
    How dare this Government decide otherwise.
    The Government themselves , in my mind , show little cognisance of “Britishness” and are devoid of any feeling of humanity.

  • let them stay in this country! all of them and there families they should be welcomed in this country with open arms.never mind blocking them.these men put there lives on the line and for what?this country should be ashamed let them stay and kick out the scroungers these ppl who served for us are being treated like dirt.

  • Thank you Ms Lumley for a magnificent campaign and a magnificent speech; thanks also to all the people behind the scenes who made it possible.

  • It seems criminal to me that a race who have served this country so well for 200 years cannot settle here whilst spongers from eastern european countries and indeed other countries seem to be inviolate

  • dave brough 14th Oct '08 - 7:47pm

    Yes, and then you’ve got all the white scroungers who complain about immigrants, but don’t contribute to society like these Gurkhas have.

  • annabel gaskin 15th Oct '08 - 6:11pm

    Thank you, Ms Lumley, for the campaign that you have led so successfully on behalf of the Gurkhas. They have fought at the side of the British, been awarded the highest honours that our society affords, and supported British democracy in its battle against the nightmare of twentieth century fascism. Their time to share in the privileges of that democracy is long overdue, and is shameful that you have had to lead a campaign on their behalf when it is obvious to so many ordinary people of this country that they hold the Gurkhas in high regard, and wish them to share in everything we regard as precious in our society.
    Thank you for being our conscience in this concern. It is much appreciated

  • John Bolton ex Royal Navy L/Seaman 16th Oct '08 - 12:04am

    I wholeheartedly support the Gurkhas in their fight for recognition and respect. They as a people have earned it a thousand fold through loyalty, bravery and honour to our country for generations. That it had to go to the High Court brings shame on us and we should seek proper justice for these most conscientious Gurkha subjects.

  • kelvin extance 17th Oct '08 - 10:25pm

    love thegurkhas please keep me informed

  • Tony Delaney 17th Oct '08 - 10:30pm

    I lived and fought with these guys in Malaya and they deserve everything that we have – and we should bow our heads in shame if we cannot support them. They have fought for the British – they LOVE the British – they have given their lives for the British, and I believe it is essential that we treat them accordingly.

  • my father fought alongside the gurkas,
    there are no others like them. For all they have done for this country they should be aloud to stay if they want to.

  • It is a continuing disgrace that this government, and past governments, have not done the right thing when these people have stood by us.

    We should all be proud that they have fought for us, as we are proud and honoured to have fought with them.

    Now is your time to stand up for them. Do it or forever hang your head in shame that you did nothing.

  • These men are worthy of all our thanks and care the fought for me you and every single british being GIVE THEM A HOME they worked 24 hours a day and this is how we treat them shame!! shame!! shame!!

  • david robinson 17th Oct '08 - 10:39pm

    I fully support British citizenship for the Ghurkas.

  • Jess Morrison 17th Oct '08 - 10:48pm

    I am ashamed of our goverment. Who makes
    these decisions on our behalf? They don’t even think it’s unjust. These people have worked and fought side by side with all of our forces and we or rather our politicions treat them as second class citizens. What a disgrace they should hang their heads in shame. Where are their human rights for this is all we hear about when thugs mug old folk and we can’t punish them properly because we might infringe on their human rights come you lot in goverment wake up and smell the coffee. jess morrison Dundee Scotland.

  • I fully support the efforts of Joanna and co. it is the right of These very brave men and their familys to be allowed to settle in our country

  • brian rimmer 17th Oct '08 - 10:54pm

    Why are we allowing our goverment to treat these brave men who have fought shoulder to shoulder with our men and died for this country in such away as to make the people of this country feel ashamed.When they cannot even deport terrorists back to their own country because of human rights.

  • Pete Burgess 17th Oct '08 - 11:44pm

    When will these ‘Civil’ Servants start doing what is right for those who are loyal to this country and stop hiding behind rules and regulations. How is it that any Tom Dick or Harry who has no links with this country are permitted entry and entitlements and yet these wonderful, dignified soldiers who have served us so gallantly for centuries are treated like dirt! Civil Servants and Politicians have much to be ashamed about but this treatment of Ghurkas is about the most appalling and shameful act they have perpetrated. When will the time arrive when someone in authority stands up and does something because it is RIGHT without the petitions having to tell them. If they don’t know what is right, they shouldn’t be in a position of authority. Britain for the British and her Allies. Let the Ghurkas stay and send the decision makers away. Then we will be Great Britain!

  • I served 25 years with the colours, 4 of them seconded to the Gurkhas, they are the finest fighting men in the world, and have served this country loyally for 200 years, they should all have the right to settle here if they so desire. Let them come here, and kick the illegal immigrant tow rags out.

  • Come on Westminster. We need these brave
    men more than they need us, but they have
    supported us selflessly for 200 hundred
    years. They must see something worth
    supporting. Don’t let them down now, or
    we will be apologising for getting it
    wrong in another 200 years. Then how good
    will the British History Books look.Many of us would not be here now if the Gurkhas had not been there for our families. I wonder how many politicians
    had parents whose lives were saved by these amazing men.

  • tony jacques ( ex pompadour ) 18th Oct '08 - 10:29am

    about time the goverment got its head out of its arse and realised we the british people demand it gives the proud ghurka soldiers the same rights including pension and pay afforded to all british servicemen and bearing in mind most of are so called leaders are not fit to lick the boots of these brave men they should hang their heads in shame for making them beg for what thay have paid for with their own blood on behalf of our country.

  • liam thompson 18th Oct '08 - 12:15pm

    I am a ex Royal Marine an think that it is a disgrace that that men who choose to fight for our queen an country are not aloud to stay hear when the country has finished with there services ..
    Them men deserve to stay hear so let them .

  • It could only happen here if you hate this country and dont work you can claim benefits and this goverment will defend your rights.But if you are a loyal Gurka and paid into the pot when you retire ON YOUR WAY and dont expect to stay here.

  • These brave men have served our country faithfully in life threatening service and must be allowed to live here if they so choose.

    I am appalled that such men can be treated so despicably.

  • George H Brookes 18th Oct '08 - 5:34pm

    Can ‘someone’ explain to me how HMG allows the likes of certain persons to preach their foul dislike of our Country on the streets of London ~ then does not allow a Gurkha who is prepared to lay down his life for the UK to stay here ?

    I’m ex Services and I would rather have 5 Gurkha at my side than 10 of our other so called Allies ~ then I could rely on them staying with me and certainly not subjecting me to ‘friendly fire ‘.

    Any Gurkha will be welcome in my home any day of the year .

  • michael murphy 19th Oct '08 - 11:50am

    my late father-in-law fought with the Chindits in Burma.
    I just cannot understand at all how there should be any question that these brave soldiers who fought for us are accepted as loyal British citizens.
    They must be granted this recognition.

  • .I cannot get my head around the fact that the Gurkhas have had to fight for their right to stay in this country. It is a privalige for our country to have these heroes among us. Why wont the government spend their energy throwing out other groups who come to drain our country dry. Shame on you!

  • It beggars belief that the Gurkhas are not allowed to stay in this country when we let in so many immigrants from elsewhere, many of whom have no intention of working and come only to take advantage of our generous welfare system and NHS. This government is so keen on human rights for the feckless and dissolute. What about the human rights of the Gurkhas?

  • Hey! If y’all don’t want them, then send them over here with us in the U.S. We’ll gladly take them in! 🙂

  • i support the gurkas right to stay in this country. They served us, now we should support them

  • This government needs to ‘get a grip’ we are sick of hearing about the human rights of criminals and how inhumane they are treated in prisons and the people who don’t belong in our country, they are all being given more care than the gurkhas who really do deserve to stay in this country and the way they are being treated is inhumane. They are not spongers or wasters, it beggars belief this petition has to happen to help them stay and be treated in the manner they should …..which is with great respect.

  • colin Stacey 2nd Nov '08 - 12:59pm

    The government lets any terrorist into this country and does very little to deport them and yet the gurkhas that have faught and given their lives are given no rights at all. They are used to protect MPs and dignetaries and most of those are just hypocrites and worry about there own position in life and dont upset the voters so lets do nothing

  • Let the Gurkas stay, they are no harm to anyone and are privilage to have here. Better still Put Gordon Brown and the rest of his undemocratic band in aboat and sink ’em in deep water, that’l make room for them if room is the problem. Will anyone miss ‘Team G.B.’

  • dick bunting 6th Nov '08 - 1:18pm

    whilst i havehad sympathy with the ghurkas in the past, the news that a team of ex ghurkas is to act as scab labour at dover docks to help dover harbour board break a strike by british workers trying to save their jobs appals me. I think it will also appal most british working people, and the ghurkas may well find their support dwindling fast when this hits the press, as it will.

  • dick bunting 7th Nov '08 - 9:57am

    I am now told that the ex Ghurkas have withdrawn. Apparently they were “not aware of the sensitivity”. Thank you gentlemen.

  • Fiona Briggs 19th Nov '08 - 2:31pm

    I support the cause for the Gurkhas to live in this country at least they have given us something to be proud of, instead of just coming over here and taking.

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