Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander became the latest senior Liberal Democrat cabinet minister to fail to declare his hand on Question Time last night - repeatedly refusing to say whether he would vote for or against the trebling of tuition fees his government is proposing and which he is in favour of.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander became the latest senior Liberal Democrat cabinet minister to fail to declare his hand on Question Time last night – repeatedly refusing to say whether he would vote for or against the trebling of tuition fees his government is proposing and which he is in favour of.

Watch it:

Mr Alexander follows the lead (or lack thereof) of business secretary Vince Cable, architect of the Bill, and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who at Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday refused five times to say how he would vote, leading deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman to say:

“If you vote against, that’s the only principled position; if you abstain, it’s a cop out, if you vote for it’s a sell out. Which is it?”

Last Friday, Left Foot Forward pointed out the sheer futility of abstaining:

“Given that there are five Sinn Fein MPs who do not sit in Parliament, a majority of 323 is required to pass legislation if every MP votes. With 307 MPs, the Tories fall short and require the support of at least 16 Lib Dem MPs. But if every one of the 57 Lib Dem abstains, the required majority falls to 294 and the Conservatives can pass the legislation on their own.”

Tomorrow, protesters will descend on the Liberal Democrats’ London conference, at Haverstock School by Chalk Farm tube, from 12-3. Protest organisers the Free Education Campaign say:

“Before the General Election all Lib Dem MPs promised to vote against any attempt to increase tuition fees. They now plan to break their promise and back the Tory proposal of £9,000 fees. There is still time to make them keep their promise.

“We are calling this peaceful protest outside the Lib Dem London Conference to demand that all London Lib Dem MPs vote against higher fees. Their London MPs include Vince Cable who is heading the coalition’s proposals to increase tuition fees to £9000 per year, as well as Sarah Teather, Simon Hughes, Lynne Featherstone, Paul Burstow, Ed Davey and Tom Brake.

“This is one of the last opportunities to put the Lib Dems under pressure ahead of the vote. Bring your friends, chants and banners…”

For more details join the Facebook group and for a map see here.

Update 11:30

It now transpires that the Liberal Democrat London conference at Haverstock has been cancelled – by the school.

58 Responses to “Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote”

  1. David Young

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  2. Gabriel

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  3. Kunglu

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  4. Deborah Segalini

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  5. David Glass

    @unslugged Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid via @leftfootfwd

  6. David Glass

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  7. Shamik Das

    Wanna c a red-headed rat drown?! RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  8. Oasis Caretaker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  9. Graham Jones MP

    Lib Dem Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote. http://bit.ly/gjVHtE

  10. Robert

    If the Tories want to apply pressure to bring the LD’s into line perhaps they should try the tactic used by the US Democrats against the Republicans in the House when President GW Bush was trying to get his Wall St bailout approved. The Dems could have carried the bill easily on their own but refrained from doing so to put Republican congressmen under pressure to support the bailout too – which was utter anathema to them, despite it coming from a Republican President.

    If the Tory whips could find a few Tory MP’s whose consciences could not let them possibly support the bill (there must be some, surely?) that would throw the spotlight yet more brightly on the LD’s who can, at the moment, still have their cake and eat it by abstaining or voting against.

    Too counterintuitive, perhaps?

    It worked in the House of Representatives to force the Republicans to share the pain inflicted by Bush Jnr.

  11. Patrick

    Alexander visited our barracks once. He was the kind of guy who asked you a question, then didn’t listen to the answer whilst nodding his head…

  12. Deborah Segalini

    Haverstock School has cancelled tomorrow’s conference because of the protest. 🙂

  13. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  14. Jane Phillips

    RT @shamikdas: RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  15. Will Straw

    Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  16. Paul Evans

    RT @wdjstraw Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm <<car crash!

  17. Elin Haf Thomas

    RT @wdjstraw: Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  18. Lee Watkins

    RT @wdjstraw: Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  19. Dave Forrest

    RT @wdjstraw: Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  20. Dave Hoare

    RT @wdjstraw: Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  21. Lynn Hancock

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  22. John Rentoul

    Didn't see what was wrong with Danny Alexander on #bbcqt http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd): Do people blv in party democracy or not?

  23. charlotteahenry

    RT @JohnRentoul: Didn't see what was wrong with Danny Alexander on #bbcqt http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd): Do people blv in part …

  24. Susan Nash

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  25. Huge Rection

    squirming scrote on telly http://tinyurl.com/2v4mruv wotch and laff at

  26. NUS Student Media

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  27. Aaron Porter

    Tuition Fees discussed on #bbcqt last night: http://bit.ly/gvAOEx (via @leftfootfwd)

  28. JASON CHARLTON

    RT @wdjstraw: Missed #bbcqt last night? Watch @dannyalexander squirm on the tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/dGqfOm (via @leftfootfwd)

  29. Elliot Page

    Tuition Fees discussed on #bbcqt last night: http://bit.ly/gvAOEx

  30. Lorna Harrington

    RT @AaronPorter: Tuition Fees discussed on #bbcqt last night: http://bit.ly/gvAOEx (via @leftfootfwd)

  31. Andrew Griffiths

    Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/ek0WDL

  32. Ammaar Rahim

    RT @AaronPorter: Tuition Fees discussed on #bbcqt last night: http://bit.ly/gvAOEx (via @leftfootfwd)

  33. Joshua T. Lindsey

    After watching http://j.mp/dXBSAF I'd say @dannyalexander has 14% fewer followers and it's not because of the hair #bbcqt

  34. Ben Vulliamy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  35. Sean Ruston

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/ek0WDL @leonardpboe

  36. Fiona Edwards

    Student protest forces Lib Dem’s London Conference Venue to be cancelled at eleventh hour: http://bit.ly/iiNwxd

  37. Fiona Wood

    RT @AaronPorter: Tuition Fees discussed on #bbcqt last night: http://bit.ly/gvAOEx (via @leftfootfwd)

  38. Andy S

    RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote: http://bit.ly/dGqfOm #BBCQT vid

  39. Hugh

    The Lib Dem backbenchers should feel free to vote against, as per their pledges. If this forces Lib Dem ministers to vote in favour in order to give the bill a chance to pass, so be it. The ministers deserve nothing better as it is they who have made this inevitable- the Coalition Agreement does no such thing.

  40. Liz McShane

    It looks they have found a new venue at The Royal Horticultural Halls in Vincent Square, Greycoat Street London SW1P 2QD & protest will go ahead.

  41. alexsmith1982

    Ouch. Danny Alexander's position on fees is a nonsense. Will have to watch #bbcqt in full on iplayer over the weekend. http://bit.ly/gvAOEx

  42. Allan Davies

    http://bit.ly/gvAOEx Cabinet minister Danny Alexander fails to answer the question on how he will vote on tuition fees.

  43. House Of Twits

    RT @Allan_R_Davies http://bit.ly/gvAOEx Cabinet minister Danny Alexander fails to answer the question on how he will vote on tuition fees.

  44. Deborah Segalini

    And now it looks like they’re calling off the conference altogether, due to “security fears”.

  45. Joshua Fenton-Glynn

    It really is lovely watching #DannyAlexander get a sense of the anger over fees now http://bit.ly/gvAOEx #LibDemShame @leftfootfwd #StopFees

  46. Leonard Boe

    RT @EduSean: RT @leftfootfwd: Danny Alexander squirms when pressed on tuition fees vote http://bit.ly/ek0WDL @leonardpboe

  47. Look Left – Cameron set for school sports climbdown | Left Foot Forward

    […] Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander faced the wrath of voters on last night’s Question Time over the issue, squirming as he was repeatedly asked […]

  48. janie_s

    so what is the alternative to tuition fees? national bankruptcy? 5p on income tax? graduate tax? only 5% going to university. come on, tell us. you can’t just be anti something with no viable alternative.

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