Jo Swinson urged to come clean on tuition fees

Jo Swinson was elected as East Dunbartonshire MP earlier this year
Jo Swinson was elected as East Dunbartonshire MP earlier this year

MP Jo Swinson must make her views indisputably clear on free tuition following comments from her new Liberal Democrat party leader.

MSPs Rona Mackay and Gil Paterson have condemned Vince Cable following a report in the Press and Journal where he calls for an end to free tuition.

They are demanding Jo Swinson makes her views clear on what they call a “hallmark issue” for the people of Scotland.

The Liberal Democrats betrayed voters when their MPs voted to charge students more than £9,000 — when they had campaigned against the hike.

In 2012, then leader Nick Clegg made a humiliating apology where he said “I am sorry” for misleading the voters — who, in the 2015 election, ousted most Lib Dem MPs. The video has been viewed millions of times since, and featured in comedy programmes, parodies and TV.

Ms Mackay said: “No one really has a clue where the Liberal Democrats stand on anything these days, so the public in East Dunbartonshire deserves to know where exactly their MP stands on this hallmark policy.

“In Scotland, we pride ourselves on having an inclusive education system where people of all backgrounds can enter higher and further education to learn and contribute to society.

“I am calling on Jo Swinson to make a crystal clear statement on whether she supports free tuition in Scotland or not, and her reasons why.”

Mr Paterson said: “It is not surprising that Vince Cable is supporting this conservative policy given he — and Jo Swinson — were working hand in hand with the Tory Party just a few years ago in government.

“Given Nick Clegg’s humiliating apology, it is incredible to see the Liberal Democrat leadership once again change direction on such a major issue.

“Disposing of free tuition in Scotland would simply block opportunities for so many people, especially young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. That is morally wrong, to me.

“I hope Jo Swinson can clarify her position on free tuition as a matter of urgency. The public deserves to know.”