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MP in defence of pledge on tuition

LIB Dem MP Lorely Burt has said that her party made a pledge not to increase tuition fees in “good faith”.

LIB Dem MP Lorely Burt has said that her party made a pledge not to increase tuition fees in “good faith”.

Mrs Burt said that she understood the concerns of students and was due to speak at the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick.

Her party is facing a growing backlash from many young voters, who have accused the Lib Dems of reneging on their pre-election promise not to raise fees.

This week, Mrs Burt said she was very unhappy about proposals, but would not confirm how she intends to vote.

“Before the election, we signed the pledge in good faith and thought what we were proposing could be afforded,” she said. “Now we’re on the other side and we’ve learned that we’re in a very different financial position than we thought.”

She said she was against plans to increase fees by up to £9000 a year, but defended her party’s involvement.

“Part of our pledge was to make the system fairer and I think that we have won concessions,” she said.

Millie Jefferies, aged 18, was in the thick of last week’s protest - where thousands of students descended on Tory HQ at Millbank Tower.

The University of London student said that the protests were mostly peaceful, but a small group had gone there to start trouble.

“There are a lot of people who thought they [the Lib Dems] would do something to stop this or make a difference.

“I do think they were wrong to make this promise before the election, even if they didn’t know all the facts.”

University of Birmingham students were raising a petition this week, urging Mrs Burt to vote against the legislation.

 

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