Furious George

George Owers, head of CULC, has sensationally accused the Russell Group of spinning ‘outrageous lies and misrepresentation’.

Alasdair Pal callum wood cambridge student liberal democrats cambridge university conservative association cambridge university labour club cuca funding cuts geroge owers gordon brown russell group

The Cambridge University Labour Club (CULC) has sensationally hit out at the Russell Group’s claims that Labour is cutting £2.5bn from higher education funding.

In a savage attack on the University, Owers has described the Group's findings as "outrageous lies and misrepresentation", and challenged them to produce evidence for their claims.

And the University seems unsure about how to respond, with contradictory statements being released.

In a press release obtained exclusively by The Tab, CULC claims that the £2.5 BILLION figure obtained by the Russell Group, and widely reported in the national media, in fact has "no basis in reality".

It points out that a statement by a non-governmental organisation that cuts "might" be required in the future to the tune of £2.5bn has been twisted into ‘Labour’s £2.5bn cuts’.

The grant settlement announced recently by the Higher Education Funding Council for England showed a planned reduction from £7.8 billion to £7.3 billion next year.

And within the settlement, the amount allocated to teaching rises from £6.585 billion to £6.645 billion, which is achieved by decreasing the amount allotted to capital spending and switching it to teaching instead.

George Owers, CULC Chair told The Tab: “The Russell Group has brought itself into disrepute by virtue of its vicious lies and misrepresentation.

“Cambridge University should distance itself from the comments of the group, of which it is a member.

I challenge Cambridge University and the Russell Group to show how they get the £2.5 billion cuts figure.”

He also suggested the Russell Group were “scaremongering” in order to bolster their case for scrapping the tuition fee cap.

And there was confusion amongst Cambridge officials yesterday, when contradictory statements were released.

Speaking to The Tab, Deputy Director of Communications Tim Holt originally appeared to agree with Owers, and distance the Uni from the Russell Group’s claims.

“The Russell Group made that statement”, he said.

“We have no further comment to make at this time.”

But seemingly realising his mistake, he released a second statement covering his tracks.

“Cambridge, along with many other Universities, is concerned about the potential impact of the Government's proposed funding cuts”, he said.

The Tories reacted strongly to the claims.

“I believe that a group of top universities has a better head for maths than does the Labour Party Press Corps.”, said Cambridge University Conservative Association Registrar Callum Wood.

“More to the point, it's very bad form to start accusing people of lies, especially when the Russell Group are working extremely hard to promote Britain's best interests.

“Brown and his henchmen need come clean and admit how much we really have to cut.

“Labour's solution has always been to throw money at the problem and hope it goes away – now there's no money left and we have to plug the gap.”

The Lib Dems dismissed the feud as a petty argument between student politicians.

Dom Weldon, Chair of Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats said: “Arguments about the depth and severity of cuts show how similar Labour and the Conservatives have become”.

When contacted by The Tab, a spokesperson for the Russell Group was unavailable for comment.