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Committee ‘most people have never heard of’ axes maintenance grants

Wes attended the Third Delegated Legislation Committee to oppose a measure to scrap student grants.

The debate was the most recent step in the government’s agenda of trying to push through legislation, which risks alienating thousands of the poorest students from university, through parliament without it being debating in the chamber.

Only eighteen members were able to vote at the committee, despite the fact the changes to student grants would affect every constituency.

Wes said, during the committee, that it is “surprising we find ourselves here on a committee most of our constituents have never heard of, away from the eyes of the public.”

“It is not the job of Members of Parliament to come to this place and simply allow the Government of the day - whatever our respective political colours - to railroad such dramatic changes in policy.

“It is our job to scrutinise, to hold the Government to account and to ensure we remember that, whatever our political affiliations, we are sent to this place by our constituents to champion their interests.

“How can any member look themselves in the mirror this evening and say this issue has been properly considered?”

Despite this vote, the fight goes on: there’s an opposition day debate on this issue on Tuesday 19th January, and it’s possible the legislation will be stopped, or amended, in the Lords.

Click here to watch Wes’ full speech in the committee. (Wes’ speech starts at 12:09)

Click here to read Wes' Huffpost Article on this issue.

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