Conservatives Treatment of Gurkha Veterans “A Disgrace”

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales has criticized what she described as the “disgraceful treatment” of Gurkha veterans by the Conservatives and Downing Street.

Gurkha Veterans on hunger strike outside of Downing Street (Photo courtesy of Forces.Net)

Dodds comments come as a number of Gurkhas entered their 6th day of hunger strikes in front of Downing Street over the government’s refusal to grant them pensions equal to that of the British soldiers they fought alongside.

The Gurkhas, an elite group of Nepalese troops who have fought for the UK during both the World Wars and major conflicts since won their right to citizenship in 2009 after a high-profile campaign by the actress Joanna Lumley. However, those who fought for the UK before 1997 are still being paid pensions on Indian Army Rates, rather than British Army Rates like their counterparts. These rates are a fraction in comparison, not being designed for a high-income country like the UK where most Gurkha veterans now reside. Around 25,000 Gurkhas who retired before 1997 are thought to have been denied a full pension.


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Cllr Jake BerrimanAlmost a year after Powys County Council passed a historic ‘Climate Emergency’ Declaration, two Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillors are calling for the Council to also recognise the extent of ecological crisis.  

 Jake Berriman (Llandrindod North) and Jackie Charlton (Llangattock), who both played a key role in passing last year’s cross-party Climate Emergency motion, are continuing their work to build a green future for Powys.

They are submitting a new motion calling on the County Council to declare an ‘Ecological Emergency’, take steps to protect the county’s biodiversity and wildlife, and endorse the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill that has been introduced at Westminster and backed by Liberal Democrat MPs.

The CEE Bill (which has been co-written by dozens of leading scientists and leading academic experts and practitioners in the field of environmental policy) sets ambitious but necessary targets for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems and reduction of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions taking into account the country’s entire carbon footprint (including through international flights and shipping).

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The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have expressed profound disappointment after Conservative MP for Brecon & Radnorshire Fay Jones, voted to end the UK’s commitment to contribute 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on international development aid.

The decision, which broke a key Conservative manifesto pledge, follows the abolition of the Department for International Development last year. 

The sharp cut to the UK’s international development operations, which had previously been widely regarded as amongst the most cost-effective and successful in the world, has been criticised by the United Nations and some NATO allies and strikes a blow to the UK’s national security interests and ability to tackle emerging strategic threats around the world.

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Jackie Charlton, Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor for Llangattock, and Jake Berriman, Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor for Llandrindod North, joined protestors affiliated with the Sustainable Food Knighton group, as they took to the streets of Llandrindod Wells to demand that Powys County Council take action to address bio-diversity and natural habitat loss.

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Two Powys Liberal Democrat Councillors have called on the Welsh Government to provide urgent clarity on the future of music festivals in Wales, as well as increased support, after organisers of Green Man Festival warned that the August 2021 event may not be able to go ahead.

Crickhowell Councillor John Morris (whose ward includes part of the Green Man site) and Talgarth Councillor William Powell want the Welsh Government to clarify why COVID-19 regulations still prohibit large outdoor music festivals, whilst increasingly allowing indoor entertainment and large sports events to take place.

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Cabinet must withdraw Llanfihangel Rhydithon closure plans following Cabinet engagement decision

"The reassurance given to Cllr Pete Roberts (Lib Dem, Llandrindod South) in Cabinet today should spell the end of the current Llanfihangel Rhydithon Primary School closure plan". That is the view of the Powys Lib Dem/Green group in a letter they have sent to the Portfolio Holder this afternoon.

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