Lib Dem Gurkha motion won by 21 votes

Nick Clegg’s Opposition Day debate motion has passed this afternoon by 267 votes to 246 – a narrow but highly significant victory. The motion demanded that all retired Gurkhas be awarded the right to settle in the UK.

Brown seems to have a political death wish at the moment. He was on the wrong side of today’s argument and he’ll be on the wrong side tomorrow when he tries to push through his hasty YouTube mash-up of MPs expense reforms too.

More analysis when that happens – suffice it to say for the moment that if tomorrow goes as well as today did, we could be looking at the week that makes Nick Clegg as a leader in the eyes of the public.

And on that note, do go and look at the very unusual and impromptu press conference given outside parliament by Clegg, Cameron and Joanna Lumley (keeping them apart, and womanfully fending off occasional hugs from Cameron) after the victory.

Update – Nick Clegg has issued the following statement:

This is a historic victory for the Gurkhas who have served our country so bravely.

“This Government has now lost its moral authority. From the first moment I challenged Gordon Brown on this over a year ago, he didn’t understand that there was a simple moral principle at stake.

“People who are willing to die for our country, should be allowed to live in our country.

“The Government must listen to Parliament and scrap these shameful rules immediately and grant justice without conditions to all retired Gurkhas.”

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  • Looking down that list, it’s notable that a fair old chunk of those MPs with either retire or look set to lose their seats at the next election.

    Is this a generational thing with older MPs having more sympathy for such issues or is it that they KNOW they’re losing and just don’t care anymore?

    Of course there’s also Diane Abbott, who fits in neither camp and is just a perennial thorn in everyone’s side!

  • Just watching Nick on Channel 4 News, but why oh why do lazy journalist/ news presenters insist on using the boring term “getting into bed with Labour/Tory” every time there is a commonality of view?????

  • rantersparadise 29th Apr '09 - 7:31pm

    @ crewegwyn

    Who knows?? Especially when this has ALWAYS been a Lib Dem thing and NEVER was a Tory thing!

    But what was Brown thinking? Why is the most racist, anti-immigrant party led by a chinless wonder who took free tickets to aparthied South Africa NOW the concious party???

    I know you all hate Labour here but I hate the Tories more. They are slimey bastards who constantly mock the Lib Dems in the commons with 90% walking out when Nick Clegg rose up to talk during the budget.

    Much self hate?

    Anyway, at least this passed-the Ghurkas have done so much it’s embarressing, though it’s tainted by sleazy Cameron and his opportunistic flock.

  • Agree with rantersparadise

  • David Heigham 29th Apr '09 - 8:55pm

    Glory, glory hallelujah!


    Diane Abbott spoke up marvellously against 42 days detention, and now this. She is the best Home Secretary that New Labour were never capable of appointing.

  • For the record, can someone please tell me (as I’m too lazy/busy to check it out)
    1. when was the last time any opposition day motion was carried in a vote by the Commons
    2. when was the last time a Liberal/LibDem opposition day motion was carried in a vote by the Commons.

  • Richard Huzzey 29th Apr '09 - 10:22pm

    1. Jim Callaghan’s government, more than 30 years ago.
    2. Not sure. Certainly would have been Liberal if any…

  • 2) Two contenders
    10th April 1923 definately
    8th Oct 1924 possibly

    All courtesy of David Boothroyd

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '15 - 3:25pm

    A Labour minister decreed that all discretionary decisions should be referred to him, but a lost a court case.
    The revised policy was that al proposed exercises of discretion should be by ministers, except for Ghurkas awarded the Victoria Cross in Burma.

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