Angry Joanna Lumley last night blasted a British National Party leaflet targeting a heroic Gurkha recently killed in action.
The Ab Fab star branded as “disgusting” the racist party’s use of a picture of Corporal Kumar Pun* with a cross through it. Thousands of the hate-filled leaflets also demand: “Stop this illegal Gurkha immigration.”
They were issued by teacher Adam Walker, a BNP candidate in next month’s European elections. His party warns of “Gurkha ghettos” if the Nepalese fighters win the right to settle here.
Joanna, 63, said: “The use of a brave British Army Gurkha’s photograph as part of their political campaign is disgusting, especially as he has not yet been buried. A vote for the BNP is a vote against all Gurkhas, against honour, sacrifice, duty and courage.”
Joanna yelled their war cry “Ayo Gorkhali” — “The Gurkhas are coming — outside the House of Commons last month after MPs backed her bid to let all Gurkhas who served in the British Army live here. Ministers ruled last week that Corporal Kumar’s widow and two daughters can stay in Britain. But in his leaflet for the European elections, Mr Walker, of Durham, uses scare tactics to demand they are sent packing.
It reads: “The Government would allow over half a million Gurkhas into this country. This will swamp our local housing and the NHS as most Gurkhas are elderly. They would contribute nothing.”
Last night a spokesman for the anti-racist group Searchlight said: “For the BNP to slur the memory of a serviceman who has laid down his life for his country is sick beyond belief.”
Sedgefield Labour MP Phil Wilson added: “This leaflet just shows what the BNP stand for. I was shocked. I didn’t think that even this party would go that far. It’s an absolute disgrace.
Gordon Brown has promised to review Gurkhas’ rights after a campaign led by Joanna, whose father fought with the brigade. About 36,000 have been denied UK residency despite being prepared to die for the country.
BNP leader Nick Griffin warned of “Gurkha ghettos” and vowed to remove all non-serving Gurkhas.
Technology teacher Mr Walker, 39, left Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, in 2007. He is being investigated over claims he used a school laptop in lessons to contribute racist views to online chats.
* Cpl Kumar, 31, was blown up ten days ago alongside three British soldiers in Afghanistan.