The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

Britain's Deputy PM apologises over university fees pledge


BLONDON (AFP) - Britain's deputy prime minister made a rare public apology on Wednesday for breaking his party's promise to block increases in university fees as he seeks to claw back dwindling support.

Mr Nick Clegg, who leads the Liberal Democrats in the ruling coalition, said the party was sorry it didn't stick to its pledge to oppose a rise in tuition fees - a key plank of its pre-election manifesto.

Support for the centrist party fell sharply after its U-turn on the issue in 2010 which sparked huge student protests.

In a party broadcast on Wednesday, Mr Clegg apologised for making a promise he couldn't keep, but notably stopped short of an apology for backing the hike in student fees of up to 9,000 pounds (S$18,000) a year.