Riot police ready behind barricades; Tories plan electoral pact with LibDems
THE MET POLICE were already out in force in and around Westminster this morning, hours before tens of thousands of students turn up in a final bid to stop the government introducing £9,000 a year tuition fees.
Starting at 1.00pm, students plan to march from the University of London Union on Malet Street to Parliament Square via the Strand, in time for the House of Commons vote on raising fees, which is expected between 5.30 and 6.00pm.
But the Met look like they want to stop the demo getting too close to precious MPs, as they have put up huge metal barricades around Parliament Square, have decked themselves out in riot gear and have started to confiscate placards and banners.
At least 40,000 demonstrators are expected to take part in the London march, with hundreds of thousands more engaged in other demos around the country.
The main figure of scorn for students is Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who pledged not to vote for tuition fee rises before the General Election in May, before advocating a huge hike soon after.
He hasn't done his standing amongst students many favours today either, describing demonstrators as "dreamers" and admitting that he wants to keep high fees even if the economy improves.
Even worse for many who voted for his party is the news that the Tory and LibDem parties plan to join forces for the next election.
"Tory members of the cabinet have concluded that it will be difficult to avoid some kind of election arrangement with the LibDems," reports the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper most closely associated with the Tory party.