Carey attacks top up fees
The Government's top-up fee proposals have been criticised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey.
His criticism came on Sky News' Sunday programme with Adam Boulton.
"I come from a working-class background and if I put myself in the position of a working-class parent today, how could they possibly afford the fees?" he said.
"I would like to see the Government leading from a philosophy of socialism, rather than arguing from economic arguments," added the cleric, who is Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.
"I think we have got to invest in higher education and if we care for the future of this land, then we must provide resources for people who would find it very difficult to get to university."
"To have a kind of graduate tax is not something I particularly support."
One of the Government's most loyal supporters has warned he will vote against the PM unless he drops the plan for variable fees.
The warning from Nick Brown, a former chief whip who has never rebelled against the Labour leadership in 20 years in the Commons, was a sign of the scale of opposition.
He added: "I think Tony Blair has probably been the most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had and he has my support, but not on this question, because I think it is fundamentally wrong that access to the very best courses in this country should be by money rather than by ability."
It came in the face of a direct warning from Home Secretary David Blunkett for former Cabinet colleagues to toe the line on fees.
"This is not the moment for grandstanding in order to damage or embarrass the Prime Minister in pursuit of their own agenda," wrote ex-Education Secretary Mr Blunkett in a strongly-worded article in the Sunday Times.
Some 159 Labour backbenchers have signed a parliamentary motion opposing the Government's proposals for a tuition fee of up to £3,000 a year.