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Tessa Jowell meets students at launch of St Mary's Labour Club

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Labour heavyweight Dame Tessa Jowell joined Twickenham Labour Parliamentary candidate Nick Grant to address the inaugural meeting of the St Mary's University Labour Club earlier this week.

Jowell, the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, and Grant were quizzed by students on the detail of Labour's plans to reduce annual tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000.

The decision by the Tories and Lib Dems to increase tuition fees to £9,000 means that the average student will now graduate with £44,000 of debt.

Labour's plan to cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000, announced last week, will reduce average graduate debt by nearly £9,000. And because the plan is fully funded, it means £40 billion less government debt by 2030/31.

Speaking to the South West Londoner, Jowell dismissed business secretary and Twickenham MP Vince Cable's criticism of the policy pledge as "complete nonsense".

She said: “It is affordable and it is a policy that has been passionately advocated by Ed Miliband as part of what he calls ‘the promise of Britain’ – that parents should look at their children as they go to university and feel confident that they are going to do better than they did.”

Jowell also told the publication that she was impressed by Nick's campaign to oust Vince Cable as Twickenham's MP. She said: “I think we are all quite clear that just as tactical voting got Vince Cable in, it can also get him out and get Nick in – let’s be passionate, optimistic and set our sights high.”

Nick told the South West Londoner that Labour's pledge to reduce tuition fees is a "policy to do with the principles of fairness". He said: "That’s going to make a significant difference in terms of the type of people who are willing to take on a certain level of debt to go to university, so it’s an egalitarian measure."

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