Labour’s Shadow Attorney General has told The Linc that abolishing tuition fees is a ‘matter of principle’ for the party.

Shami Chakrabarti on a visit to Lincoln with Karen Lee. Photo: Oliver Pridmore.

On a visit to Lincoln today to support the re-election of Karen Lee as the city’s MP, Shami Chakrabarti spoke to local journalists on a range of issues ranging from Brexit to allegations about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

Questioned on why students should believe Labour’s promise to abolish tuition fees, after a broken promise on the issue from the Liberal Democrats in 2010, Baroness Shakrabarti said that abolishing tuition fees was a ‘personal matter’ for her.

She said: “For people of my generation it really is a debt of honour because you wouldn’t have heard of me and I wouldn’t be sitting here today because my parents would not have had the money to pay for me to go to university.

“I’m debt averse so I would have been put off by the idea that I had to get into £50,000 of debt at the age of 19 to go and study law.

“It’s a complete matter of principle for us in the current Labour leadership having benefitted from free university education and a full maintenance grant that paid for my rent and my law books.

“There is no way that I can tolerate people of your generation and younger having to take on that debt – I will not pull up the ladder behind me and you have my word on that.

“I just think it’s now two manifestos in which we’ve made this pledge and I think it’s too personal for us because Labour might not be the party of Leave or Remain but if it’s anything it’s the party of social justice and greater equality.”

Shami Chakrabarti on a visit to Lincoln with Karen Lee. Photo: Oliver Pridmore.

When asked what Labour would do to support university graduates find jobs after their studies, Baroness Chakrabarti said: “We are proposing a massive programme of investment.

“We want a green industrial revolution, we want a new generation of public interest lawyers based in law centres all over the county, we want a councillor and a therapist in every high school and those are all graduate jobs.

“They are good for the people who are going to benefit from the service but they’re great for the young graduates as well.”

Baroness Chakrabarti was in Lincoln today for a meeting with local Labour Party members, and went on to go canvassing across the city with Karen Lee.

It’s all part of the upcoming election on December 12, which will be the focus of an event at the Engine Shed tomorrow.

A debate is being held with all of Lincoln’s local candidates, and The Linc will be live blogging from the event.