Martin Salter (Reading, West) (Lab): Last December it was my sad duty to attend the funeral in Reading of campaigning Gurkha war veteran Bhim Prasad Gurung, who died in abject poverty while awaiting the outcome of his appeal against the refusal to offer him settlement in the UK. The Prime Minister should be aware that Bhim would have faced deportation under the new guidelines announced on Friday, as he was made redundant after 12 years of brave service and denied his Ministry of Defence pension. Will the Prime Minister be more specific about how quickly he will bring forward his promised 12-month review of the policy, finish the job that the Labour Government started in 2004, and deliver justice for Gurkhas at last?Later on that day he spoke in the debate on the Lib Dem motion saying,
Martin Salter (Reading, West) (Lab): I suspect that tomorrow will be a bad day for the House of Commons, but today was a very good day for Parliament. Some 1,350 Gurkhas will now not face deportation. An unacceptable policy put forward on Friday was disowned on Wednesday, and will be reviewed in a matter of weeks. Does the Minister accept that one of the most offensive arguments put forward was the assumption in advice given to Ministers—I have copies of that advice—that those Gurkhas will be on the dole and on the council housing waiting list? In fact, studies that we have done in communities with substantial numbers of Gurkhas show that the Gurkhas are working, are economically active, pay their way, and will make a massive contribution to this country.Clearly a man passionate about the plight of the Gurkhas right? I mean he spoke in Parliament on the matter twice in one day and his words suggest he was very much against Brown and in favour of the Lib Dem motion. So how did he vote?
He didn't even bother. He was one of those abstaining. Such a man of principle huh? He's even stepping down at the next election so its not like he had anything to lose.