London, Apr.14 (ANI): An official from a welfare group at the centre of the bitter controversy over Gurkha veterans being charged cash for advice on settling in Britain has accused Tony Blair's wife of making money from the former soldiers.
The Gurkhas were awarded legal aid for their dispute with the British government, but it was set to cover only part of the legal fees, and Padam Bahadur Gurung of the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation (GAESCO) claims that the veterans have now been billed 147,230.78 pounds for the rest.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Gurung told The Independent that he and his associates denied taking 500 pounds each from around 4,000 veterans for advice on how to settle in Britain.
He said Cherie Booth QC and the prominent civil rights solicitor Phil Shiner in cases, which had been partly covered by legal aid, had claimed large sums of money.
He said the organisation had a letter from Shiner demanding 147,230.78 pounds in payment.
GAESCO itself is now split, with a breakaway faction demanding that Gurung and his associates account for the two million pounds they have allegedly collected from the Gurkhas. (ANI)