Seaford MP in quit hint over fees vote

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SEAFORD MP Norman Baker has hinted he could resign from his ministerial role in order to vote against plans for tuition fee rises.

The Lib Dem transport minister was questioned on the controversial issue – which has sparked student protests across the country – on the BBC One South East’s Politics Show.

When he was asked if he would be abstaining or voting in favour of the policy he replied that there was the option of voting against and added, “It’s an option [voting against] if you resign.

“There are three options on the table and I haven’t decided what I’m going to do.”

When pushed on the matter he said he genuinely hadn’t made a decision but would decide before the vote, adding, “There’s a meeting of the parliamentary party on Wednesday and I’ll be listening very closely to my colleagues and we’ll try to reach a common position if we can on that particular occasion.

“It’s a very serious issue and it’s the most difficult issue I have faced frankly but I want to get the decision right.”

The Lib Dem party promised to abolish tuition fees in its election manifesto but policy has changed since the formation of a coalition with the Conservatives.

It is still unclear which way its 57 MPs will go when the policy goes before the Commons tomorrow (Thursday).

The government proposals include increasing the cap in fees from £3,375 to £9,000 from 2013 which has led to widespread anger among students, with protest marches in Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol and seen pupils walking out of lessons.

Students at Seaford Head Community College played their part in supporting the national day of protests and were able to take part in a sit down protest on the playground.

As potential future university applicants many of the pupils felt that they would not be able to easily access higher education if tuition fees were increased.