Have you seen Brent Central MP and Education Minister Sarah Teather?

Concerns raised over the whereabouts of missing politican

CONCERNS have been raised about the whereabouts of Sarah Teather aftershe failed to show up at a key debate this morning (Thursday).

The Brent Central MP and Education Minister was last seen running away from a Sky News camera team yesterday morning and has not been heard or seen since.

Ms Teather appears to have gone to ground hours before she is due to cast her vote on Government plans to hike tuition fees.

Angry students, resident and local politicians have held two protests outside her office on Willesden High Road, after she refused to condemn the plans or to reveal how she would cast her vote.

Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, who was at the first protest on Saturday, said: “Where is Sarah Teather? We would all really like to find her.

“During her campaign she was very visible. She said her door would always be open.

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“But now since she gained office she seems invisible”

In the run up to the General Election in May, Ms Teather campaigned vehemently for the abolishment of the fees and signed a NUS pledge not to increase the fees.

She overturned a notional majority of 7,000 to win the hotly contested Brent Central seat.

But, she has been quiet since the Government announced plans to increase them to up to �9,000 refusing to speak to the Times or any other media about her opinion on the proposals.

However, she did release a statement saying: “Under the Government’s proposal universities will still continue to have secure funding, but graduates will contribute more when they are earning more.

“We have improved the situation for part-time students, poorer students and poorer graduates in Brent by creating a fairer system.”

Yesterday Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg announced that every minister will vote in favour of the fee increase and the diminutive politician has since disappeared into thin air.

Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North, joked she may have been kidnapped.

He added: “As an Education Minister she was expected to at least attend the debate today.

People in Brent remember that this was not just a manifesto promise; Ms Teather signed a personal pledge to vote against any rise in tuition fees.

Today she could not even be bothered to listen to the debate.

“She has broken her promises and betrayed young people in Brent.”

Calls to her office today by the Times have gone unanswered.

Aaron Porter, president of NUS, said: “Students and their families rightly expect Sarah to stick to the pledge she made only a few months ago, to vote against any rise in tuition fees if elected to represent the people of Brent Central.

“Constituents will rightly be outraged should she choose to break this promise now she is comfortably in power. And they will certainly remember this the next time she comes around asking for their vote.”

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ms Teather please call the Times news desk on 0207 433 6244.