Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused of flip-flopping

Sir Keir Starmer was yesterday accused of “flip-flopping” after U-turning on a pledge to abolish university tuition fees.

The Labour leader vowed to scrap the £9,250 a year charges when he ran for the leadership in 2020.

But Sir Keir yesterday confirmed Labour is preparing to abandon the commitment and blamed the UK’s economic woes.

“We are looking at options for how we fund these fees. The current system is unfair, it doesn’t really work for students, doesn’t work for universities,” he said.

The Labour leader said the party would “set out a fairer solution” in the coming weeks.

He added: “We are likely to move on from that commitment because we do find ourselves in a different financial situation.”

But he insisted he did not “want that to be read as us accepting for a moment that the current system is fair or that it is working”.

Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands mocked the Labour leader for his latest U-turn.

Mr Hands said: “Everyone is getting back to work after the Bank Holiday weekend and Sir Keir is back to what he does best – flip-flopping on a major issue.”

Conservative MP Mark Jenkinson said: “Sir Flip-Flop makes another U-turn, as sure as night follows day.”

Sir Keir also risked a fresh row with the Labour left over the planned policy shift.

His predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, who sits as an independent MP following an antisemitism row, said: “Young people should not be saddled with a lifetime of debt just because they want to get an education.”

“Abolish tuition fees, restore maintenance grants and deliver free education for all.”

Sir Keir has already backtracked on a series of pledges made during his leadership bid including plans to increase income tax for the top five percent of earners, defend free movement with the EU, ditch the universal credit benefit system, and nationalise energy companies.

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