Parents call for Lib Dem scalps as students march again

Liberal Democrat MPs who signed a pledge against increasing tuition fees should not stand for re-election, according to parents quizzed in a new poll.

November 21, 2012

In a YouGov survey commissioned by the National Union of Students, 58 per cent of parents of children aged 18 or under say MPs who promised to oppose tuition fee hikes should step down at the 2015 election.

Twenty-seven Lib Dem MPs voted in favour of increasing the tuition fee cap to £9,000 in December 2010 - and a further eight abstained from the vote - despite signing an NUS pledge during the last general election campaign to oppose higher fees.

In September this year, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, apologised publicly for making the promise, which he admitted could not have been kept once the Lib Dems entered a coalition government with the Conservatives.

However, despite his apology, 45 per cent of parents think MPs who broke their tuition fee promise should resign immediately, while 62 per cent say they would not vote for them.

Only 18 per cent of people feel the MPs had a hard decision to make so should be forgiven.

The poll of more than 2,000 people, including 478 parents, coincides with today's NUS demonstration, titled "Educate, Employ, Empower" in central London, to protest against higher fees and wider cuts made by the coalition.

Liam Burns, president of the NUS, said: "Nick Clegg won the trust and votes of young people and their parents by signing the pledge, but has now lost them once and for all by breaking it.

"Most parents would like to see him and every other MP who broke the pledge go before they can do any more harm to the next generation.

"As students gather in London today to demand investment in education and employment, the countdown to the next general election has already begun.

"Many MPs of all party colours kept their promise, but those MPs who broke their pledge cannot wriggle their way out. They are living out their electoral lives on borrowed time."

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

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