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Forty Folkestone Gurkhas to lose jobs in latest redundancies

The Gurkhas in action
The Gurkhas in action

Forty Folkestone Gurkhas are expected to lose their jobs in the latest round of forces redundancies, the KM Group has learned.

The soldiers, based at Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, are due to go over the next year, most of them through compulsory redundancies.

The members of the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles are among a total 320 Gurkhas going nationwide in the latest round of Ministry of Defence cuts.

Army spokesman Benedict O’Connor commented: “These are cuts across the whole Army. It is not something we relish but these cuts have been made due to economic pressures.”

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a total 2,900 soldiers are going out of a total 3,740 losing their jobs overall in army, navy and air force.

Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said: “My main concern over the proposed redundancies in the Gurkhas has been to make sure that any reductions in posts do not compromise their long term future in the British Army.”

He explained that as a result of the Gurkha Justice Campaign personnel won the right to serve up to 22 years instead of 15 like other member of the army.

He said: “Many Gurkhas decided to do this but recruitment continued at the normal rate. This has meant that Gurkhas have been

more vulnerable to potential redundancies as they have more servicemen in post than had been expected.”

The MoD says this is the second round of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme, which it had originally announced in January.

The 40 locally are out of 700 Gurkhas at Shorncliffe.

The majority were exempt as they are being deployed to Afghanistan at the end of this year.

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