Vince Cable cancels talk in face of student protests

Education Editor,Richard Garner
Sunday 23 October 2011 01:19

Vince Cable last night cancelled a talk at Oxford University after being warned students were preparing to stage a major demonstration.

The Business Secretary was due to address a seminar on the "lessons of government" at the university's examination school. However, he was warned by the police that there would be a large protest by students angry over plans to increase tuition fees.

About 1,000 demonstrators were expected to attempt to block the High Street this afternoon. A spokesman for Mr Cable said he had postponed the visit following advice from Thames Valley Police and "his concern about the level of disruption this could cause to the people of Oxford".

Today's seminar follows a meeting at the University of London earlier this week where the Universities Secretary David Willetts was heckled and had his speech interrupted by chanting students.

The inquiry by the former BP boss Lord Browne into student fees recommended the cap of £3,200 be lifted altogether. However, ministers have said they favour raising it instead – possibly to around £7,000.

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