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Red alert

Is Labour about to ditch its totemic policy on tuition fees?

When 148 Conservative MPs voted no confidence in prime minister Boris Johnson, it was Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, who told Playbook readers that now would be a good time to start paying attention to what Labour was proposing for universities. Labour’s policy offer so far in this parliament has been far from abundant in its elaboration.

It is in this context that we note some significant speculation from Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent at the Financial Times, who wrote in the newspaper on 16 June that the party’s desire to sound fiscally responsible would be “likely to lead to Labour dropping one of its signature policies from the 2019 general election—the scrapping of tuition fees for undergraduate students—although the details are not yet finalised”.

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