The right moment

February 11, 2000

Conservatives have cancelled a long-awaited announcement on higher education policy because it would have been "premature".

How, one wonders, can an announcement scheduled weeks ago for next Tuesday, suddenly be deemed premature? After all, the party has had close to three years, since the last election, to come up with a higher education policy.

Could it be that shadow chancellor Michael Portillo, who had only been two minutes in the job when he backed the Bank of England's independence and challenged Conservative policy on tax cuts, put the brakes on the proposals?

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