Two of Medway’s MPs (Tracey Crouch and Kelly Tolhurst) yesterday voted down an amendment to help Gurkhas and other foreign-born servicemen and women that had cross-party support.

The amendment was to the Nationality and Borders Bill, and sought to exempt foreign-born servicemen and women who have risked their lives in our Armed Forces from having to pay extortionate fees to remain in this country.

Medway Council had previously collectively called on the Government to make such changes following a Labour motion on the subject in 2019.

Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

“It is very disappointing that only one out of three Medway Conservative MPs voted in favour of New Clause 52 despite the unanimous position in favour of such changes to my Medway Council motion back in 2019.

“I hope we see this injustice resolved to stop the disgraceful situation of people serving our country but then being charged many thousands of pounds for them being able to stay here in the UK.”

Cllr Alex Paterson, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Armed Forces Champion added:

“While I recognise there is a wide spectrum of opinion across the House on the issue of immigration, there can surely be few who would deny the right to stay in the UK to servicemen and women who have put their lives on the line for our country.

“And yet that is exactly what we witnessed in the Commons, with the vast majority of Conservative MPs refusing to support a cross-party amendment which would have removed these prohibitive visa fees from Commonwealth and Gurkha personnel and their families. Their behaviour shames our country.”

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