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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Kennedy backs Gurkhas' campaign
Tharka San
Tharka San is campaigning for a British passport
Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has thrown his weight behind the Gurkhas' campaign for British citizenship.

Members of the Nepal-born British army regiment met Mr Kennedy at the party's conference in Bournemouth.

Mr Kennedy said an emergency conference motion backing the Gurkhas' fight for UK passports was "indicative of the huge affection in which they are held".

Prime Minister Tony Blair has told MPs he will be making an announcement on the issue shortly.

Many members of the Gurkha regiment, who are based mainly in Kent, have settled with their families in the UK, but are unable to remain there permanently.

Tharka Sen, who served in the British Army for 16 years, said he hoped for good news from the Home Office soon.

"It would be a huge shock for me to have to return now. I have not really thought about it," he told BBC News Online.





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