this from Mr Salter's Westminster Diary today:
By Wednesday morning, I and a number of other colleagues were sending out emails to three hundred Labour MPs urging them to withhold their support from the Government in the division lobbies later that afternoon unless we were promised a policy rethink. Pressure mounted during the day, not least thanks to the Speaker giving me the opportunity to raise at Prime Minister’s Question Time the appalling prospect of former Gurkha soldiers who did not meet the criteria being deported from Britain. By 2pm the Government’s position was shifting and after intense negotiations we got them to commit to review the policy (yet again!) before the summer recess in July and to promise that there will be no deportations of Gurkhas currently in Britain fighting their cases. At 3pm I addressed several hundred Gurkhas outside Parliament and told them the good news. None of this stopped the Government losing the symbolic vote later that afternoon but it is clear now that we are well on the way to getting justice for Gurkhas at last.
so the vote was only a symbolic one, so it was OK not to vote? Is a symbolic vote like being symbolic naked?