Gurkha hunger strike called off as MPs launch parliamentary probe into rights

 

A parliamentary probe into Gurkha rights is being launched with Prime Minister David Cameron's “blessing” following a two week hunger strike by veterans.

Conservative MP Rob Wilson has brokered a deal between campaigners and MPs to bring to an end the protest over pension, benefits and health care rights.

A cross-party commission will take written and oral evidence before reporting its findings, which will be considered by government, next spring.

Campaigners, including actress Joanna Lumley, welcomed the move and met with hunger striking Gurkha, Gyanraj Rai, who is camped opposite Downing Street, to tell him about the plans.

The 55-year-old veteran has threatened to starve himself to death in the battle for improved rights and earlier this week around 1,000 ex-Gurkhas marched down Whitehall to highlight the cause.

Martin Howe, solicitor and joint founder of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, said: “This presents a unique opportunity to finally settle genuine issues of concern and allows Gurkhas to continue to be held with affection by the UK Government and people.

“We are grateful to parliament for taking up these important issues and for indicating its support for the work of the parliamentary inquiry.”

Nepalese fighters have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years and were given settlement rights in Britain following a high profile campaign in 2009.

Mr Wilson said: “I am delighted to have brokered a deal that has allowed the Gurkhas to end their hunger strike.

“I don't think that going on hunger strike is the right way of advancing your case in a democracy but I am hugely relieved that my constituent and friend Gyanraj Rai is now out of danger.

“Everyone in Britain should be grateful for the Gurkhas' bravery and loyalty in the service of our country.

“The Gurkhas will now have another chance to have their grievances heard by an independent commission under the auspices of MPs on the All Party Parliamentary committee on Gurkha issues.

“We now need to make sure that the commission is set up properly and the Gurkhas can have full confidence that their views are heard and considered fairly.

“The commission of inquiry will receive written evidence from all parties until the New Year, when oral evidence will take place.

“A report is due to be published in the spring, the findings of which will then be considered by the government and Gurkha campaigners.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Executive / Marketing Assistant

£18 - 23k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Executive / Assistant is n...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider to the fa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Analyst - Global ERP Implementation - London

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable global business is l...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map