John Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, responding to reports on university fees, said:
"Ability and ambition should be the only factors which determine which students can get into the most sought after universities. This Tory-led Government believes that access to wealth and privilege should trump ability.
"Middle-class, middle-income families whose children don't get into selective universities at first shot are going to feel terrible pressure to raise private finance, to take out bank loans, to remortgage their homes or feel that they've betrayed their children.
"It is an unfair and steep slippery slope to the destruction of our world class public education system."