No guarantee of vote if Government moves to raise tuition fees, says Javid


Business Secretary Sajid Javid has refused to guarantee MPs a vote should proposals to increase tuition fees emerge.

The Conservative frontbencher would only say a debate in the Commons will take place if the Government decides to change the cap.

University tuition fees increased from around £3,000 a year to a maximum of £9,000 in 2012 under the previous coalition administration, a move that provoked widespread protest.

Labour's Wes Streeting, a former president of the National Union of Students, raised reports in the Commons which suggest changes to tuition fees could be introduced as secondary legislation rather than as a new act of Parliament - which would limit parliamentary debate.

The MP for Ilford North told Mr Javid: "Given the report in the Independent on Sunday that ministers in the Cabinet Office are desperately trying to find ways to increase the cap on tuition fees without proper debate and vote in this House, can you confirm that any attempt to increase the cap on tuition fees will come back to this House for a full debate and vote.

"And similarly, could you also confirm that Government proposals in the Autumn Statement to extend tuition fees to nurses, midwives and students of allied health subjects will also be subject to a proper debate and a vote in this House."

Mr Javid replied: "If the Government does decide to change caps on tuition fees there will of course be a debate in this House."

In June, universities minister Jo Johnson refused to rule out an increase in tuition fees before 2020.