Monday, 11 May 2009

Steve Ladyman on the Gurkhas and the Royal British Legion

My position in the Royal British Legion is strictly non-political and I try to keep it that way. The role of the President is to be a person of standing' in the community, to raise the profile of the Legion and to advise the executive committee as needed. I promised when I took up the role I would not exploit it in any way for political purposes and I don't. Unfortunately, some other people, of opposing political views, do try and exploit my position with this sort of comment, however, I note they lack the courage to put their own name to their comments.

As for the Gurkhas, I have not read the local papers this weekend as I have been away so don't know what they say. The facts are these:

I was very concerned about the Government proposals and refused to vote for them. After a frantic afternoon of negotiation the Home Secretary recognised the concerns that some of us on the Labour benches had and made a series of concessions. These were summarised in a letter that was circulated about an hour BEFORE the vote. That letter promised that no Gurkhas would be deported, that the facts and figures being quoted would be reviewed and a new set of rules drawn up to deal with the pre-1997 service Gurkhas in Nepal. In other words, everything that campaigners were asking for was conceded before the vote so I was then able to vote for the Government. Unfortunately, for the Government some of my colleagues did not get the letter in time and voted against which is why the vote was lost.

I would also add that Lord Brammall, former Chief of the Defence Staff who served with the Gurkhas wrote an article in the Independent against the idea that the Government should change its position. Here is the link for those who really want to be informed on this issue:

I wonder, does 'anonymouse' also think Lord Brammall should resign from the Legion?

Steve Ladyman


  1. Mr Ladyman, The Gurkhas:
    Your explanation gives a fresh twist on the subject. It seems you have been innocently tripped up by whips' rather muddled wheeling and dealing. Never the less you have come out of it well. You were able to support both the government and the Gurkhas. You clearly have a keen political brain.

  2. About six years ago, as I understand it, two senior figures of Ramsgate Royal British Legion raised Police inquiries into a pseudo military cadet leader in Thanet. For example was he committing an offence by wearing a Major's uniform ?

    As I understand it the Police claimed it was only an offence to impersonate a Police Officer or Fire Officer.

    I do not think that is correct. I refer, of course, to the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819.

    However on the coat tails of the above issues I was asked for a report on Sabotage of Petbow Back Up Generators. The story was that the Cttee of Ramsgate RBL had been asked to secure my report to forward to a Sergeant in PSNI Special Branch.

    In spite of the efforts of Kent Police to dissuade it, the report was written and sent.

    Does this represent a conflict of position for Steve Ladyman now ?

    In spite of the obligations of Treason Law (to report acts of sabotage which would weaken the ability of the Realm to resist an enemy) Steve Ladyman MP took the position that he would neither report nor act.

    The question remains whether I should lay a Common Law Information of Treason against Mr Ladyman with the Thanet Bench.

    The current situation is that Ladyman is Chair of an RBL Branch who reported in a matter which Ladyman, as MP, had attempted to suppress (By taking nil action whilst subject of an oath of office to Her Majesty the Queen)

    I dispute, therefore, that Mr Ladyman is a person of standing for the purposes of holding office in a Loyal Organisation.

  3. Thank you Richard Card for your interesting and trenchant synthesis. I bet Ladyman won't reply.

  4. It doesn't matter how much SPIN Steve Ladyman puts on it, he voted against Gurkhas being treated fairly.

    He must think that the people of Thanet were born yesterday!

    NO BUT's
    Dr Ladyman, you shame the RBL if you remain president (not chair by the way) of Margate RBL.

    You can put spin on everything from your expenses claims to taxes - but facts are facts YOU VOTED THE WAY YOU CHOSE TO VOTE. Other Labour MPs chose to do the right thing and they would not agree with your spin!



  5. I don't know the ins and outs of the voting in the Commons but I know that there is an agreement between our government and the Nepalese government that ex-Gurkhas go back to their homeland to help their own people.

    I know they are incredibly brave and all that but let's not overlook the fact that they aren't British citizens nor Commonwealth ones but are mercenaries whom we have allowed to serve our country.

    I find it amazing that the right-wing press that condemns how easy it is for immigrants to get into Britain have decided that ex-soldiers must be allowed in.

  6. Dear anonymous,

    You astounded me. According to you we have "allowed the Gurkhas to serve our country". That is arrogant nonsense. You then go on to further patronise them by saying that you know "they are brave and all that.." What an inane statement. Yes the Gurkhas are brave. They have earned many VCs, and all that, over their couple of hundred years service.

    By the way, have you ever served our country as the Gurkhas have done?

    Read your history. The Gurkhas are not mercenaries. They are part of the regular British Army.

    Anyway, debating with you over your puerile attempt to politicise the Gurkhas is futile.

  7. Royal British Legion President STEVE LADYMAN MP has politicised the Gurkhas by doing the dirty on them instead of supporting them. All he can do is spin excuses after he supported his political master GORDON BROWN!

  8. JH, you just have debated with anonymous, so I guess your arguments are futile. They're certainly arrogant.

  9. We seem to be avoiding the very important issue of Steve Ladyman MP being the PRESIDENT of Margate RBL and voting against the GURKAS. He thinks that he can BS and spin his way out of it BUT just as he knew how much he spent when he spent his expenses he also knew how he voted ... You can't just twist things and pull the wool over peoples eyes Stephen old boy!

  10. Mmmmm...that's another fine mess you have brought on this country Gordon!!

    Anyone who has served alongside the Gurkha's would have a great understanding that without these fine gentleman fighting/training alongside our troops, we would be up S**T creek without a paddle? Simply put our Infantry would be suffering much more alongside the Marines than they are now without the Gurkha's.

    The trouble is that we have too many tired old men making decisions at the MOD and in the Government - and yes we now have a problem as hardly anyone in the decision making process has actually served in the Armed Forces.

    On a different note anyone else had a letter from the Ramsgate branch of the RBL asking why members are not supporting their local branch?


  11. Malcolm

    Why is it, do you think, that our South Thanet MP Steve Ladyman, who recently voted against the Gurkas is the President of Margate RBL, surely he should be the Ramsgate President and shame them rather than Margate?

    LADYMAN voted at the highest level and is a RBL president - voting AGAINST THE GURKAS.

    There is no excuse!

    Is this not like having a wolf as a sheep dog?

    Ladyman as a president makes a mockery of the Royal British Legion.

  12. RM and other anons: Ladyman has given an explanation you chose to ignore - it's hardly the basis for rational debate. Either contest the facts of his assertion or give way: shouting 'spin' at the top your voice and blindly blathering on regardless will not win you any support.

  13. For Ladyman to consider to refuse to support the Government wholeheartedly over any issue is amazing in itself. However his argument would have had more credibility were he to have aired such concerns publicly before the vote. If he had aired such concerns in the debate it would be a matter of public record in Hansard.

    The Government did not concede everything to the campaigners. They only had to agree to the Conservative plans which would have created a new tier on the immigration points system specifically for Gurkhas, this they did not do. The Governments response, as ever is to see such ideas politically and instead of considering the idea, attacked the Conservatives on the basis of where the ideas fit within the Conservative policy framework on immigration. The Government only does what it has to do to survive. It never does the full job which in this case would have been to show leadership and grant right of settlement to the Gurkhas and their families.

    The Government has refused to explain where its cost figure of £1.4bn came from (Gordon Brown used the figure in Parliament) or the figure of those who would come to Britain (they claimed 100k). They also claimed the Government of Nepal didnt like the idea (not true at all as the judgement in last years court case said, the Nepalese Government has always been supportive as long as the link between Britain and Nepal wasnt lost).

    Ladyman doesnt fool me and nor should it fool the public. As weve seen before with 42 days this argument was used before by him.


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