Devon

Torbay Lib Dem MP Sanders to vote against fee rise

Adrian Sanders
Image caption Mr Sanders said it was "appalling" the coalition could not stick to an agreement to abstain

A second South West Liberal Democrat MP has announced his intention to rebel against his party by voting against tuition fee rises.

The Lib Dems had signed a pre-election pledge to vote against any increase but that policy changed when the coalition government was formed.

Adrian Sanders, the MP for Torbay, Devon, said the issue "has not shown the party in a good light".

On Wednesday, St Ives MP Andrew George said he would not support the rises.

MPs are due to vote later on the plans, which could see tuition fees rise to as much as £9,000.

Mr Sanders told BBC News: "I think it's appalling.

"It has not shown the party in a good light at all that we cannot stick to a simple coalition agreement to abstain."

'Brain drain'

Meanwhile students across the South West have continued their protests, with some travelling to London to take part in an organised demonstration and rally.

Students from the University of Plymouth took a petition signed by 1,000 people to Westminster to present to the Plymouth Sutton Conservative MP Oliver Colville.

A lecture theatre at the University of Exeter has been occupied by students and a number of staff members since Wednesday afternoon.

One student, Laurence Mulchrone, said if the planned fee rises went ahead a "graduate brain drain" would be created.

"There won't be anyone to fill these graduate jobs in 10 or 20 years - and these are the jobs that will lead us out of the economic slump."

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