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MPs To Hold Emergency Debate On Government Plans To Increase Tuition Fees Following Demands By Labour

'Thousands of students are uncertain about what they can be charged.'

18/07/2017 15:21 BST

MPs will debate Tory plans to increase tuition fees in an emergency three-hour session tomorrow following demands from Labour

Speaker John Bercow agreed to shadow education secretary Angela Rayner’s call, saying the “important” issue deserved “urgent consideration”. 

In April, universities were given permission to increase tuition fees year-on-year in line with inflation until 2020, with students set to be charged £9,250 from September. 

The House of Commons was set to debate the removal of the £9,000 cap on fees on April 19, but this was scuppered when Theresa May announced the snap General Election the day before. 

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Angela Rayner's calls for a debate on tuition fee increases was granted in the House of Commons 

“Oddly, Mr Speaker, they have been determined not to grant the House a vote since that election,” Rayner told the Commons this afternoon, referencing Tory fears that backbenchers could side with Labour. 

In its election manifesto, the Labour Party vowed to abolish tuition fees, saying graduates were being saddled with debts that “blight the start of their working lives”. 

The issue has been the topic of much debate on both sides of the political divide in recent weeks, with deputy prime minister Damian Green calling for a “national debate”. 

But Rayner said that debate was being shut out of Parliament by Tory delay tactics. 

“Both universities and thousands of students across the country are now uncertain about the rate of tuition fees they can be charged,” she said, calling for an emergency debate “109 days after it was first promised by ministers”. 

The three hour session will now be held immediately after PMQs tomorrow [Wednesday]. 

The announcement follows criticism of the Labour Party yesterday over Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to “deal” with graduate debt, made just days before the General Election. 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell sparked anger when he said the leader’s seeming promise to wipe tuition fee debt for recent graduates was just an “ambition”.