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Greg receives strong student support as Conservative conspicuously fails to back fees pledge

November 25, 2009 4:20 PM

Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone attended last night's NUS rally and debate on the topic of the forthcoming tuition fees review.

The event, organised by NUS President Wes Streeting, attracted around 100 students from Newcastle and Northumbria universities and featured speakers for the three main parties including UNN lecturer Ron Beadle (Newcastle North) for the Lib Dems.

Each party representative was pressed on the topic of tuition fees, but only the Lib Dem candidates Greg Stone and Ron Beadle committed themselves to supporting the NUS's candidates pledge to vote against introducing higher tuition fees in the next Parliament. Other issues discussed at the meeting included widening participation and the student loans payment crisis.

The NUS national president Wes Streeting noted that the NUS would be emailing all students at the next General Election advising them to vote for the candidates committed to supporting this pledge. In Newcastle East, Lib Dem Greg Stone is the only candidate signed up to support this objective, and received loud applause at the meeting for his backing.

Greg Stone said "The student audience were unimpressed with the weasel words of the Labour and Conservative candidates, declined to support the NUS pledge even when pressed. The Labour representative was particularly slippery and evasive, but the Conservative candidate for Newcastle East was unable to explain how his party's plans to cut loan repayments for better off students would help the poorest, and was unable to agree to sign up to the NUS campaign."