Sir Keir Starmer starts new feud with Labour’s left as he prepares to cancel ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to cut tuition fees’ at next general election
- Sir Keir Starmer said he’s ready to scrap Labor’s pledge to abolish tuition fees
- Labor leader sees move as part of ‘desire to sound more fiscally responsible’
- Labour’s left reaction sees Sir Keir accused of breaking another promise
Sir Keir Starmer has started another row with the Labor left after claiming he is ready to scrap the party’s pledge to cut university tuition fees.
In the 2019 general election, Labor led by Jeremy Corbyn pledged to ‘end the failed free-market experiment in higher education’ and ‘eliminate tuition fees’.
Universities and colleges in England can currently charge up to £9,250 per year in tuition, which must be paid through a student loan.
It is estimated that Labor’s policy to cut benefits – and to reduce maintenance subsidies – would cost around £6 billion a year.
Since replacing Mr Corbyn as Labor leader, Sir Keir has kept his pledge to abolish tuition fees and has even included the pledge in his leader election campaign.
But now it has been revealed that he could drop the signature policy.
Sir Keir Starmer is reportedly ready to scrap Labor pledge to cut university tuition fees as part of effort to ‘sound more fiscally responsible’
In the 2019 general election, Labor led by Jeremy Corbyn pledged to ‘end the failed free-market experiment in higher education’ and ‘eliminate tuition fees’
Some Labor members feared that scrapping a tuition fee pledge could be just as damaging to Labor as it was to the Liberal Democrats in the 2010s – sparking a series of protests
Sir Keir made tuition pledges as part of his leadership election campaign when he replaced Mr Corbyn after the 2019 general election
According to the Financial timesLabor is likely to scrap the pledge as part of a “desire to sound more fiscally responsible” – although the paper said the details were not final.
The possibility of Sir Keir moving away from a key part of Corbyn’s Labor policy has infuriated left-wing parties.
The Labor leader was accused by Momentum, the group that emerged from Corbyn’s two leadership election campaigns, of adding to a string of ‘broken promises’.
A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Abolishing tuition fees was the flagship policy of Labour’s 2017 general election campaign, which saw the party’s biggest increase in vote share since 1945, with dozens of seats.
It was also one of Keir Starmer’s key promises in his leadership election shot, which has now been brushed aside like so many broken promises.
“As a result, a Labor party is shooting itself in the foot by failing to make any real change to Britain’s failed economic model.”
Other Labor members described Sir Keir as ‘absolutely shameless’ after his previous pledges to the party’s existing policy on tuition fees.
Some even expressed fears that scrapping the tuition fee pledge could be just as damaging to Labor as it was to the Liberal Democrats led by Sir Nick Clegg.