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Starmer risks Labour civil war as party poised to ditch key pledge to young people

NewsStarmer risks Labour civil war as party poised to ditch key pledge to young people

Sir Keir Starmer is preparing to U-turn on Labour’s commitment for free university tuition fees. The party’s past two general election manifestos promised to abolish the charges, which are up to £9,250 per year. And the Labour leader said he would keep the policy in his leadership campaign in 2020.

But a senior party source told The Times: “At a time when we’re being so careful about spending commitments, it’s a glaring anomaly that we still haven’t moved on tuition fees.

“It’s one of the remaining commitments from 2019 that we will be clear we have moved on from.”

The reported move to junk the commitment risks the fury of the Labour left.

Earlier this year, Sir Keir insisted that the 10 promises that made up the basis of his leadership bid “haven’t all been abandoned by any stretch of the imagination”.

But he has so far dropped a string of them including plans to increase income tax for the top five percent of earners, free movement with the EU and nationalising energy companies.

City Hall Conservatives economy spokesperson Neil Garratt said: “Does Starmer stick by *anything* he promises? Tuition fees pledge dumped.”

Susan Hall, leader of the City Hall Conservatives, added: “I wonder if Keir actually knows what he, and therefore Labour, stands for – somehow I doubt it.”

Left-wing commentator Aaron Bastania said: “Graduates earning more than £26,575 pay a marginal tax rate of 42 per cent (!) – we absolutely need to scrap fees

“Why brief this two days before local elections? What’s the upside?”

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