Treachery! The government unveils new residency test for Gurkhas ... that almost NONE of them can pass

They were ready to lay down their lives for Britain - and have been rewarded with an act of treachery.

Thousands of Gurkhas were yesterday shut out of the UK in what was described as 'shameful betrayal' by the Government.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas claimed changes in the rules would allow 4,300 more former Gurkhas to settle here out of the 36,000 who served in the British Army before July 1997.

But lawyers battling for the Gurkhas said they believed only around 100 would benefit.
Hundreds of former rank-and-file soldiers will face deportation while thousands more will be barred from entering the country.
Under the new rules, former Gurkhas must prove they have either served more than 20 years or have won one of the top four medals for gallantry: the Victoria Cross; the Distinguished Service Order; the Distinguished Conduct Medal; or the Military Cross.
They can also claim residency if they can prove they have lived in Britain legally for a minimum of three years, have close family ties or have a chronic medical condition which was caused or aggravated by their Army service.
Campaigner Joanna Lumley fought back tears as she spoke of the Government's 'betrayal' of the veterans.

She said: 'These new rules reveal an absolute contempt for the ordinary Gurkha who has served this country bravely and without complaint.'
The Home Office was ordered to review its immigration policy on Gurkhas last year by a High Court judge who ruled that its old guidelines were unfair and unlawful after a long and bitter battle.

Under the previous rules, Gurkhas who retired before 1997 had to prove they had 'strong ties' to Britain and thousands were rejected, including Victoria Cross holders.

The judge had ordered action by the beginning of this year. But four months late, ministers yesterday sparked a fresh wave of condemnation from across the political and military spectrum with their new set of restrictive criteria.

Campaigners said it was virtually impossible for ordinary Gurkhas to meet those conditions.

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