As the SKWAWKBOX and others have shown, the Tories and their mouthpieces are continuing to push their desperate claim that Corbyn has rowed back on a ‘promise’ to cancel student debts.
The only straw they’re grasping in support of that claim is an NME interview by Corbyn and specifically a single sentence Corbyn said when asked about student debt:
I will deal with it.
But simply reading the rest of the paragraph – conveniently omitted from the Tories’ press release justifying their claim – shows that claim for the misleading nonsense it is:
As the boxed section shows, Corbyn stated the options he was looking at – and lengthening the repayment period was one, along with ‘reducing’ or ‘ameliorating’ it.
Lengthening a repayment period is emphatically not the same as writing anything off.
Labour made a manifesto commitment to ending tuition fees. There was never any manifesto promise to write off, clear or wipe existing student debts.
And even the Tories’ sole piece of desperate ‘evidence’ is shown to be nonsense by the same passage they’re quoting – because a longer repayment period cannot possibly be considered a promise to wipe anything.
The SKWAWKBOX has contacted CCHQ for comment. We also tried to reach the Tories’ communications director, Carrie Symonds, for an interview about her and her party’s tactic, but were told she was unavailable – although she was at least free enough to send out the above tweet.
The matter is beyond any doubt – Corbyn never made any promise to clear student debt and even the supposed ‘evidence’ being used to suggest otherwise is self-disproving.
This blog now calls on the Conservatives, a huge array of media and LibDem leader Vince Cable, who was happy to tweet the false claim, to retract – and to apologise for creating and/or promoting fake news.
But we won’t hold our breath.
(‘Hat-tip’ to @britainjoey for flagging the NME detail.)
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