Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has admitted huge tuition fee bills do not deter working class youngsters from going to university.
On The Andrew Marr Show, the Labour MP was asked if it was true fewer young people from poorer backgrounds were enrolling because of hikes in fees.
She replied: “I don’t believe that’s the case actually but I do believe that many working class and part-time and older mature students are actually leaving university.”
Labour’s flagship election policy was to scrap the policy, which will see some students leave university with debts as high as £50,000.
Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly claimed the fees were deterring working class people from taking up higher education, but most official figures do not show a significant drop in poorer people attending university.
Rayner also said the party’s “aim” would be to wipe out student debt.
Rayner said: “It is a huge amount, it is £100bn, which they estimate at the moment, which will increase.
“It’s a huge amount of money but we also know a third of that is never repaid.”
Rayner also called on Labour MPs who have fuelled talk of MP deselections in recent weeks to “think about who are the real enemy”.
They included Party Chairman Ian Lavery, who told HuffPost UK Labour may be “too broad a church”, and the Chris Williamson.
She told Marr: ”Anyone who talks of deselections, any of my colleagues, quite frankly need to think about, actually, who are the real enemy here, who are making the problems for the community at the moment.”