The way that I remember things might not actually be as they happened. I accept that. However, I am sure that I recall the UK Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, promising to scrap all student debt prior to the last UK election.

Now, a mere seven weeks after the election, in the 24th July Metro newspaper:

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"We didn't say we'd write off student debts"
JEREMY CORBIN insisted yesterday that he never promised to write of all student debt - despite saying he would 'deal with it' during the General Election campaign.
The Labour leader, shown by opninion polls to enjoy huge support among young people, told the BBC he was unaware of how much writing off loans would cost when he made his previous comments. He was accused by the Tories of 'betraying' graduates by backtracking.

I realize that politics is all weasel words, innuendos, double meanings and "it depends what the meaning of the word 'is' is"

So, can anyone point to somewhere that Corbyn did actually say that?

  • 1
    You make some extra assumptions about the apparent effect of the supposed claim. We don't know for sure the extent of new young voters influence or whether the promise mattered to their vote. Sine nobody expected Labour to win (and, despite their joy at doing better than expected, they didn't), what they promised may be irrelevant.
    – matt_black
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:19
  • I will delete the bit where I said "A promise which led to an unexpectedly high turn out of younger voters and an unexpectedly good result for labour. ". I agree that that is superfluous (+1).
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:35
  • My memory is that Corbyn earlier stated that he wanted to write off study debts, but that they would need to look at how to cost it before they could promise to do so.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 9:14
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question asks Did Corbyn promise to write off UK student debts? but does not cite any notable source claiming that he did in fact promise this. You might ask this on Politics.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 9:17
  • 1
    Metro is fairly credible (or can say why you do not consider to to be so?), and it's "Crobyn denies..." seems to make the claim that he said it
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


The article headline seems like an answer to a strawman argument, I'd question who owns the paper that wrote it and what their political alignment is.

Corbyn said "We will scrap tuition fees...", specifically on already indebted students he said he would look into ways to "ameliorate that", some reporter later asks "Did you mean you wanted to write off all UK student debts?", he replies "nah I didn't say that, what a silly question", the headline becomes what you see in your question.

He said “We will scrap tuition fees and ensure universities have the resources they need to continue to provide a world-class education." as per the article, but the trick is this does not mean writing off current debt, the changes would be for future students.

  • I understand what you say, but do you happen to know if he did actually say that?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:34
  • 4
    @Mawg scrapping tuition fees means not charging someone next year, it doesn't mean writing off charges made last year. This is the trick the reporter pulled. It would make as much sense as assuming that when the tertiary fees were reintroduced in Australia we would charge those that had previously graduated for free... actually that wouldn't be a bad idea
    – daniel
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:45
  • A good pint (+1). Can you point to what Corbyn actually said?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:48
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    @Mawg nme.com/news/… BBC said this interview was the source, he never says 'wipe off student debt'
    – daniel
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 9:02
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    I've added links to the interview where the headline is from, and the NME interview where is said he wanted to "deal with it" (•_•)-(-•_•) ⌐■-■- (⌐■_■)
    – daniel
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 9:15

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