SNP accuse Labour of 'Nick Clegg moment' over tuition fees

Stephen Flynn accused the main Westminster parties of offering 'no hope' to young people across the UK.

Labour had their “Nick Clegg moment” by dropping plans to abolish tuition fees, according to the SNP’s Westminster leader.

Stephen Flynn criticised the move and argued it means none of the main Westminster parties offer “any hope at all” to young people.

Former Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Clegg was forced to apologise in 2012 for breaking his pre-election commitment to oppose increasing student tuition fees.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer this week confirmed he would “move on” from his commitment to abolish tuition fees.

Speaking in the Commons, Flynn told Prime Minister’s Questions: “In 2010 David Cameron convinced Nick Clegg to drop his pledge on university tuition fees.

“Does the Prime Minister intend to take the credit for convincing the leader of the Labour Party to do likewise?”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to laughter, replied: “I thank the honourable gentleman for the question. It’s hard to keep up with the list of broken promises.

“What I would say on tuition fees is I’m proud under this Government that we now have a record number of people that are going to university from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Flynn added: “For the avoidance of any doubt, the Liberal Democrats don’t believe in abolishing tuition fees, the Conservatives don’t believe in abolishing tuition fees and, of course, the Labour Party, with their own Nick Clegg moment, don’t believe in abolishing tuition fees either.

“Is it not the case that the main Westminster parties don’t offer young people any hope at all, do they?”

Sunak replied: “I gently point out to Mr Flynn that if you’re from a disadvantaged background, you’re far more likely to go to university in England than you are in Scotland.”

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