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Labour revolt over student fees

LEFT-WING Labour MPs last night claimed that government whips were offering them "gardening leave" to limit a backbench rebellion over the Bill to introduce student fees, writes Colin Brown.

A group of Labour MPs is lining up to vote against the Government over the payment of tuition fees and the abolition of student grants in the Commons next week. But some of their number claimed last night that they had been told to spend next week in their constituencies.

"It's funny how they manage to give us time off from the Commons when this Bill is due to be voted on," said one rebel MP.

Constituency leave was introduced by the Government to help manage its large majority. MPs are expected to spend the time on constituency business, and are not expected to attend the House to vote.