David Blackburn

How long will it take Gordon Brown to act on this?

How long will it take Gordon Brown to act on this?
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Defence minister Kevan Jones was extremely foolish to re-open the Gurkhas’ residency issue at the electoral cycle’s eleventh hour. Accusing Joanna Lumley of maintaining a “deathly silence” over the campaign was a temptation too many for fate.


She’s silent no longer. She convened a press conference and immediately gained the moral, and strategic, high-ground, saying:

“(There is) a sense of regret that it has come to this, almost clearing our name in public.

“We want to call on the prime minister to confirm that the policy is one that he still completely supports, to affirm from the prime minister that the MoD is still behind what it said it was behind.”

Then, with her airy cut-glass voice, Lumley added: “Gordon Brown is man of integrity who has kept his word.” It was a subtle but clear challenge to Brown's moral integrity.

Brown came off a bloodied second against the Gurkhas. The memory of that defeat should press him into acquiescence because Brown cannot afford to dither now. It's as much a question of instinct as it is one of integrity.

UPDATE: Not long, according to this report. More details to follow.