Gurkas to take Government to court over discrimination

The
Government has been accused of institutionalised discrimination against Gurkha
soldiers by giving them less pay and worse conditions than the rest of
Britain’s armed forces.

Cherie
Booth QC, the wife of Tony Blair, this week launched a High Court test case on
behalf of seven former Gurkhas from Nepal who served with the British Army.

The
Ministry of Defence has been accused of "irrational and
discriminatory" treatment of Gurkhas.

Booth
said: "Gurkhas are acknowledged to be brave fighters who have provided
loyal service to the Crown for nearly 200 years, and even today serve in
Kuwait. But on the other hand, they are treated as different and inferior in
relation to other parts of the British Army on terms and conditions of
service."

If
the claim succeeds, the Government will have to offer the Gurkhas the same
conditions of service, including pay and pension rights, as those of other
British soldiers, at an estimated cost of £2bn.

The
hearing continues.

By Quentin Reade

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