John McDonnell to march with students in next week’s national demo
The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has confirmed he will be speaking at a national student-led rally next week calling for the abolition of tuition fees.
Thousands are expected to march through central London on Wednesday 4 November, past key locations including the Palace of Westminster, 10 Downing Street and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) said: “We are delighted to announce that John McDonnell – the Shadow Chancellor – has confirmed he’ll be joining us.
“John has been a longstanding ally of the student movement, and we are proud to have him with us.”
The shadow chancellor’s endorsement follows news that Jeremy Corbyn gave NCAFC activists his full support only last week and congratulated them for organising the march.
Deborah Hermanns, an organiser of the march, told London Student at the time: “He said that in principle he would be speaking at the demonstration, but that it may clash with Prime Minister’s Question Time.”
Key Labour party figures have previously distanced themselves from such events, as well as the policy positions of the left-wing groups involved, in recent history.
Hope Worsdale, an NCAFC organiser, said: “The student movement is a part of the wider labour movement. Resisting the government’s attack on grants and the higher education system has to be a top priority for the anti-austerity movement as a whole – and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with workers and migrants.
“That’s why we’re forming alliances with trade unions and political parties that are on our side in this fight.”
Rida Vaquas, from Labour Young Socialists and the Labour Campaign for Free Education, said: “It’s brilliant that John McDonnell has come out in support of the student movement. The Labour party will only win if it is connected to social movements.”
Neither the Labour Party press office or John McDonnell’s spokesperson was able to respond to London Student’s queries at the time of writing.