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By Edd Dracott
July 23 2017 12:12 PM
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?
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.”
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.
"I did not make a commitment that we would write it off" says @jeremycorbyn on student debt #marr pic.twitter.com/PDCHuFxPaM
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.”
Some who viewed the show have taken Corbyn’s words on Sunday to be a backtrack.
Corbyn lied to write off student debt. Aim? votes of too young to know better. Now he backtracks. A professional liar. #marr
Corbyn said ‘I will deal with those already burdened with student debt" - voters expected that to happen - anything else is a U turn #marr
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
Okay but where did Corbyn actually say he would wipe all existing student debt? Because this is the first I'm hearing of it.
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
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.
On #Marr, I explained how Labour is standing up #ForTheMany by challenging the government and forcing u-turns at every opportunity. pic.twitter.com/kaB9r4UqWH
The Labour leader insisted he was “ready for it” if another is called.