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19 March 2008

Clegg: Treatment of Gurkhas a national disgrace

Lib Dem Leader, Nick Clegg today received medals handed to him from Gurkhas who served in the British Army before 1997 and are being denied a full pension and the right to British Citizenship.

Speaking at a protest outside Parliament, Nick Clegg said: "When I told people what you get from the Government in return for the years of brave, loyal, uncomplaining success people simply don't believe it.

"It is quite simply a national disgrace. I am simply saying you should be treated with the respect and honour you deserve as brave soldiers

"I will do everything I can to end this unacceptable and immoral discrimination."

Nick Clegg later tackled Gordon Brown over the issue at Prime Minister's Questions. He said:"Two hours ago a retired Gurkha soldier handed over this medal to me in protest at the Government's refusal to grant him British citizenship.

"Do you know what it means for a loyal British soldier to give up a medal that he won for his long years of service to this country?

"And can you explain to the Gurkhas why on earth you believe that Gurkhas who served in the Army after 1997 are worthy of British citizenship but those who served before that date should be deported?"

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