Labour vote on tuition fee rise “embarrassingly ignorant” of Labour policy in Wales, says senior Welsh Conservative

A Welsh Conservative AM has criticised Labour’s last-ditch move to halt plans to raise tuition fees as being “embarrassingly ignorant” of its party’s own policy in Wales.

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary in England, Angela Rayner, has called for a vote - which is non-binding - on the planned fee rises to be held in the Commons today.

The UK Labour Party are seeking to block the UK Government’s plans to raise tuition fees from £9000 to £9250, in line with inflation.

But Darren Millar AM - Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Secretary - points to similar plans already underway in Wales.

Earlier this year in June the Welsh Labour Government announced plans to raise the cap on tuition fees by £295 - £45 higher than proposals being made in Westminster.

This announcement came in spite of a Welsh Labour general election promise to scrap tuition fees in Wales.

Darren Millar AM said: “Labour’s latest intervention on tuition fees is embarrassingly ignorant of the irony that their comrades in Wales announced a £295 fee hike for Welsh students only two months ago.

“This was particularly cruel act of hypocrisy given that just weeks before Jeremy Corbyn and Carwyn Jones stood on a platform together telling students that a vote for Labour was a vote to scrap tuition fees.

“Being short on votes and short on economic literacy has prevented Corbyn from fulfilling his election promise, but here in Wales - where Labour are in Government - there is nothing preventing the First Minister from fulfilling his pledge.

“Rather than grandstanding with non-binding parliamentary votes, Angela Rayner's time would be better served using her influence to lobby Labour colleagues in Wales to abandon plans to raise fees on this side of the border.”