Lib Dem Norman Baker, junior transport minister, has said he may resign over the fees issue.
Meanwhile today John Hemming, Lib Dem MP for Yardley in Birmingham says he is “very likely to vote for the increase, simply because we cannot reward the bad behaviour from today” after students took over his office in protest.
How misguided that he sees himself as an administrator for social reward and punishment when in fact he is supposed to be a representative voice in Parliament for his constituents. A fundamental failure.
These confusions in Lib Dem negotiations over fees has led to suggestion of four possible outcomes:
– Senior Lib Dem ministers will vote in favour of the increase on the grounds that Cable and Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, fashioned the policy. The ministers believe it is fairer than the current system because graduates would start paying back fees when they earned £21,000 rather than £15,000.
– A group of ministers and some backbenchers will exercise their right under the coalition agreement to abstain.
– A significant group of backbenchers will vote against the rise. This is expected to include Farron, Greg Mulholland, John Leech and the former leaders Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy.
– Some MPs are prepared to vote in favour of abandoning the vote if there is enough support to table an amendment to the government motion on Thursday. A Commons early day motion, which accuses the government of failing to convince people that its proposals are fair and sustainable, could be turned into an amendment.
(Read the whole article in the first link of this post.)