LABOUR grassroots group Momentum said yesterday that it is supporting a national demonstration demanding the abolition of university tuition fees.
The news came after the government faced opposition in Westminster to its plans to increase the £9,000-a-year fees.
Ministers were humiliated when the 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs backed two Labour motions on Wednesday, one against increasing the cost of undergraduate degrees by £1,000 and another in favour of raising NHS workers’ pay.
The motions were passed without a vote after it became clear that the government had no chance of blocking them without the DUP, with which it has struck a £1 billion “confidence and supply” deal to make up for its lack of a Commons majority.
The motions were not binding, but their passage was a symbolic victory for Labour.
It suggests that proposed spending cuts introduced by the Tories in the future could be defeated if they go against policies favoured by the DUP.
The demonsration on November 15 has been called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), a grassroots organisation founded during the 2010 student protests.
Sahaya James of Momentum’s national co-ordinating group said: “A generation of people are being sold out by a minority government with vanishing credibility.
“Momentum will help change the consensus that maintains university as a luxury for the rich.”
NCAFC organiser and National Union of Students executive member Hansika Jethnani said that students were “refusing to lie down in the face of the relentless attacks on education” by the government.
She added: “Education is a public good, not a product, and it should be funded publicly.
“The orthodoxy that students should be charged more and more has been shattered.”