Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has confirmed that a Labour government would scrap university tuition fees across England "once and for all", it emerged on Wednesday 10 May.
The commitment came to light after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner launched their party's new schools policy in Leeds. Corbyn said voters would have to wait and see if the university fees plan was in Labour's manifesto, due to be published on the week starting 15 May.
But a video has been uncovered by Politics Home of McDonnell making the university fee commitment to supporters in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
"We've always believed as a movement that education is a gift from one generation to another," he said.
"It's not a commodity to be bought and sold. So we want to introduce – just as the [Clement] Atlee government with Nye Bevan introduced the National Health Service – we want to introduce a national education service.
"Free at the point of need throughout life. And that means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and secondary level. It means free childcare. It means free school training when you need it throughout life.
"And yes it means scrapping tuition fees once and for all so we don't burden our kids with debt for the future."
The scrapping the fees, which are currently capped at £9,250 ($11,975) per year in England, is estimated to cost around £10bn.
Corbyn first made the proposal during his successful 2015 Labour leadership campaign, when he said the plan could be funded by hiking National Insurance Contribution rates or increasing corporation tax.
Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg faced a backlash when the Liberal Democrats drop their pledge to oppose increases in the fees as part of the party's coalition government deal with the Conservatives after 2010 general election.