Aaron Porter, president of the NUS, secretly lobbied the coalition for cuts to grants for poorer students as an alternative to raising tuition fees — but still has Lincoln Students’ Union’s support.

The Telegraph published revelations that Porter asked the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in emails to cut the student grants budget by £800million and charge a market rate of interest on students loans. This, he suggested, should be instead of raising tuition fees to plug the gaps in higher education funding.

In a statement, Lincoln SU said: “We fully support the NUS and its national president, Aaron Porter.”

The NUS hit back at the Telegraph‘s article: “It’s hardly a secret that in the run up to the publication of the Browne review, NUS met with ministers and officials to discuss and model various potential impacts of cuts to higher education and the implications on other budgets that would flow from government avoiding an increase in fees.

“In all of these meetings and communications we stated our firm and clear opposition to cuts. To distort these discussions on the eve of the fees vote by suggesting that we were somehow ‘urging a cut in grants to poorer students’ is nothing short of political desperation from a coalition government losing the arguments on its own policies.”