Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 16:58 UK

MPs reject Brown's Gurkha policy

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Gordon Brown's government has suffered a surprise defeat in the Commons on its policy of restricting the right of former Gurkhas to settle in the UK.

MPs voted by 267 to 246 in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion that all Gurkhas be offered an equal right of residence.

After the vote was announced, Conservative immigration spokesman Damien Green, whose party backed the Lib Dem motion, called for a statement on how the government planned to change its policy.

Describing the result as a "historic defeat", the Lib Dem frontbencher David Heath also called for a ministerial statement "to explain how the government is going to enact the clear will of the House to allow Gurkhas residence".

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