STUDENTS and activists have been demonstrating against plans to increase university tuition fees.
Angry protests were held outside the constituency office of Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central and Minister of State for Children and Families, in High Road, Willesden, on Saturday and Tuesday.
Passers-by signed a petition calling for Ms Teather to vote in parliament today against plans to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 in tuition fees.
Students at the University of Westminster's Harrow Campus protested on Tuesday, following nationwide action by students and National Union of Students (NUS) members.
Their Facebook site said: "The University of Westminster's Harrow campus has many students who reside and vote in the Brent Central area, where the Lib Dem minister for children and families holds a seat.
"She is keeping low on the radar and has not announced how she will vote. This is good. She is clearly not confident to say she will vote in favour.
"In the past, as the Lib Dem shadow minister for education, she has voted strongly against student top-up fees. Let's hold her to account and make sure she follows this logic in the vote."
Young people are also angry that their educational maintenance allowance (EMA) could be scrapped.
Ornela Marku, 18, a student at Preston Manor High School in Carlton Avenue East, said: "Going to university should not be about who can afford the fees and who cannot. It should be about allowing the most capable individuals to go who, with the knowledge and skills gained at university, will positively contribute to our society."
Zaffar Van Kalwala, Labour councillor for Stonebridge, who has taken part in protests, said: "Last weekend's local protest should leave Sarah Teather in no doubt about the widespread anger felt by Brent students towards Lib Dem plans to increase tuition fees and abolish the EMA. Sarah Teather should vote against the fees increase."
Sarah Teather MP said: "I have always supported the need to introduce a more progressive and fairer way of funding higher education. This is what the government is introducing:
"At the time I signed the pledge nobody knew how bad the mess Labour would leave the British economy in. The staggering amount the country is paying in interest alone means that some very tough decisions need to me made. This is one of those."
Harrow East MP Bob Blackman is under pressure today (Thursday) to keep his promise to vote against a rise in student tuition fees. The Conservative MP signed the NUS Pledge at Harrow College during his campaign earlier this year, stating his commitment to voting against any fees increase.
As of yesterday, he was undecided about which way he would vote.