Lib Dem activists call on Clegg to honour fees pledge

More than one hundred former Lib Dem parliamentary candidates called on Lib Dem MPs to vote against

104 Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates today called on all 57 Liberal Democrat MPs to oppose the government's planned increase in tuition fees.

The party activists, who failed to win their elections in May, warned that the party could spend "many more years back in the political wilderness" if they back the bill.

Under the coalition agreement reached in May, Liberal Democrat MPs are free to abstain.

The parliamentary candidates did not claim that their efforts were a rebellion, but a call for MPs to honour the pledges they signed prior to the election.

"The wording of this pledge clearly indicated that this would be unconditional; regardless of whether the party was in government or in opposition," read the candidates' petition.

"There is one thing that sets the Liberal Democrats apart from other political parties; this is that when we say we will do something during election campaigns we then do it in government."