Edward Davey has told the Surrey Comet he will vote in favour of allowing universities to charge up to £9,000 in annual tuition fees.

The vote on the proposals, which have split Liberal Democrat MPs, will take place in the House of Commons tomorrow.

In November 2009, the Kingston and Surbiton MP signed a National Union of Students pledge to “vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and pressure the Government to introduce a fairer alternative.”

Mr Davey said: “As a minister in the government department introducing this reform, working with Vince Cable, I will be supporting this package.

“The measures to support students from low-income backgrounds and to protect low earning graduates together make this a much fairer package than the current arrangements.

“The more time I have to put over and explain the actual proposals, the more you find people think it's not as bad as they had been led to believe.”

Last night 24 Lib Dem councillors supported a motion from council leader Derek Osbourne calling on the borough's MPs not to support the reforms.

Mr Davey said: “Derek is appearing to take a different view on this one. I'm not surprised if many Liberal Democrats see it as a difficult decision for us.”