Nepal count rises as Lumley licks Labour
All Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years’ service will be allowed to settle in the UK, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said. It comes after a high-profile campaign by actress Joanna Lumley and other supporters of Gurkha rights
Jubilant Gurkhas have thanked Ms Lumley for her tireless work on their behalf and have offered her Gurkha nationality as a reward for her help. Ms Lumley, who already holds honorary Greek nationality for her services to Prince Philip, has already said that she will be delighted to accept.
The actress is a major star in Nepal where the national TV station plays reruns of Absolutely Fabulous and The New Avengers at peak times every evening. Sapphire and Steel is also shown if rain interrupts the televised elephant polo league.
The Government u-turn is seen as particularly embarrassing for Jacqui Smith who was revealed to have claimed expenses for 14 Gurkhas despite never actually having given any of them citizenship.