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Victory in Gurkhas battle

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Watch the Home Secretary
answering questions about the gurkhas.

by Chris Denham

Tears and cheers met the news that
retired Gurkhas had won their battle to stay in the UK today.

At 12.30pm Home Secretary Jacqui
Smith announced all Gurkhas who retired before 1997 would have the
right to apply for settlement.

It had been coming - when actress
Joanna Lumley and Folkestone councillor Peter Carroll had an
early-morning meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown they left
Downing Street wreathed in smiles but unable to say what they

Actress Joanna Lumley
Actress Joanna Lumley

But when it came the sound was deafening. Folkestone
councillor Lynne Beaumont, who is part of the Gurkha Justice
Campaign, said: "It is fantastic. There are lots of cheers and
smiling faces, although there is also lots of disbelief. We are
going back to Number 10 this afternoon with the two Victoria Cross

"It has taken a brave Prime
Minister to make a brave decision for some very brave men."

Announcing the changes in the law
to Parliament, Jacqui Smith said: "All former Gurkhas who retired
before 1997 and who have served more than four years may apply for
settlement in the UK. It will take time for former Gurkhas and
their families to make their applications and I welcome the
campaigners' offer to set up a resettlement board to help them
integrate into British life.

"On the basis of 10,000 to 15,000
applications I expect to welcome those applicants over the course
of the next two years. I am making it clear that there should be no
time llimit on those applications and they should be entitled to
bring their spouses and their children under the age of 18 with

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