UK Government's treatment of Gurkhas disgraceful, says Thatcher

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London, Apr.28 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher last night branded the Gordon Brown Government's treatment of brave Gurkhas as "disgraceful".Backing The Sun's campaign for justice, Thatcher told her aides that she was "very distressed" after ministers brought in new rules shutting thousands of Gurkhas out of Britain.

The Iron Lady - who sent Gurkhas into battle in the Falklands War - rarely speaks out in public since quitting politics but wanted to voice her sense of outrage.

Julian Seymour, former head of the Thatcher Foundation, told The Sun she thought new rules were a disgrace. He added:

"She told me, 'I think the treatment of the Gurkhas by the Government is outrageous and I am very distressed by it'." Lady Thatcher's comments will be a huge embarrassment to the Government and provide a boost to Gurkha campaigners like Victoria Cross winner Lachhiman Gurung, 93.

As PM, she told MPs in 1981: "The Gurkha battalion is an excellent part of our defence forces". And in 1983 she said: "I believe that the Gurkhas command universal admiration."

Campaigners say the new rules mean as few as 100 of the Nepalese ex-servicemen would gain the right to settle in Britain.

But under-fire Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has claimed as many as 4,300 would be given permission to stay.

The Sun yesterday launched a crusade to overturn the ruling so Britain can honour the thousands of Gurkhas who risked their lives for our country.

By last night more than 5,000 people had signed our online petition. (ANI)

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