I used to like John Denham. Of all the Labour MPs I had met and worked with, he was one of the nicer ones. He seemed to be a man of principle - resigning over Iraq - and someone who actually cared about doing things for the right reason. We worked together on electoral reform campaigns and he really seemed to get it rather than simply playing politics.
So I am really disappointed to see his comment in the Telegraph about a possible Lib Dem change of stance on tuition fees.
According to the Jonathan Isaby article, Stephen Williams has hinted that the Lib Dems might change their policy on tuition fees at Spring Conference. I hope very much that they don't as I think the charges are absolutely wrong and our opposition both principled and electorally popular (in that order).
Responding to the news, John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, has reacted angrily, saying that "students will never trust a Lib Dem candidate again".
This from a man who stood under a Labour manifesto which said that they would not introduce top-up fees and 'had legislated to prevent them'. The same Government (including Denham) which then announced within 5 years that this had been an outright lie and they promptly introduced the fees.
Debate on the merits of such a change is all very well, but not from Government Ministers and Labour MPs who have lied to their constituents and the country on this very subject.