Conflicting interests

March 6, 1998

IT WAS with great disappointment that we discovered from Hansard that Douglas Trainer, the national president of the National Union of Students, had written to the Liberal Democrats asking them to withdraw their motion for recommittal of the Teaching and Higher Education Bill in the Lords.

A recommittal would have been the closest the student movement had come to blocking tuition fees by law. Indeed, the length to which the government went to have the motion withdrawn proves that it was worried. For the NUS to be a conspirator in a shabby abuse of parliamentary procedure, to the detriment of students' interests, is galling indeed. What conflicting loyalties led to Mr Trainer's extraordinary intervention?

Bob Dalrymple, Gavin Muir, Paul Corrigan and Mark Burns. Students Association presidents of, respectively, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Dundee universities

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