Everything you need to know about Jeremy Corbyn’s latest statement on student debt
The Labour leader has said he never promised to write off student debt – so what did he actually say?
Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he did not promise to write off student debt as he campaigned for the youth vote in the general election.
The Labour leader has faced claims he used students as “election fodder” by indicating he would wipe out the sums they owed for their education.
So, what did Corbyn really say? And what is everyone else saying about it?
What did he say during the election?
A week before the election on June 8 Corbyn said in an interview with NME that he wanted to “get rid of student fees altogether”. He said they would ensure future students going into education from the 2017-18 academic year would pay no fees.
As for those already burdened with debt, Corbyn said he wanted to reduce, ameliorate, or lengthen the period in which students have to pay it off.
“And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after,” he said. “I will deal with it.”
What has he said now?
The Labour leader told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning that the comments were not a “commitment” to erase student debt currently outstanding.
The Labour leader admitted the party had not known at the time how much that would cost, and that they would be making a statement on the issue in the near future.
“I did not make a commitment we would write it off because I couldn’t at that stage,” he said. “I pointed out we had written the manifesto in a short space of time because there was a surprise election but that we would look at ways of reducing that debt burden, recognising that a lot of it is never going to be collected anyway and try and reduce that burden.”
What did those watching think?
Some who viewed the show have taken Corbyn’s words on Sunday to be a backtrack.
Corbyn said ‘I will deal with those already burdened with student debt" - voters expected that to happen - anything else is a U turn #marr— Happy Gilmour (@HappyGilmour68) July 23, 2017
However, some agree that he did not say student fees would be wiped.
Produce the quote showing Corbyn promised to wipe out past student debt. He didn't. You can't https://t.co/XbUmmt8nr2— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) July 21, 2017
Okay but where did Corbyn actually say he would wipe all existing student debt? Because this is the first I'm hearing of it.— Jay of the Dead ☠️ (@Lumberjakers) July 23, 2017
While others thought it was claims on the side of the Conservatives which are false.
I would hope most university students are capable of understanding what Corbyn said on student debt and seeing through Tory lies. #marr— Briefcase Michael (@BriefcaseMike) July 23, 2017
Corbyn’s interview with Marr covered a range of topics, including Brexit and the possibility of another general election – an issue he later addressed on his Twitter account.
The Labour leader insisted he was “ready for it” if another is called.