Mike Crockart quits on radio . . then reveals 'it wasn't me'

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart today insisted he had yet to decide how to vote on tuition fees after an impersonator went on radio to announce he was resigning as a ministerial aide over the issue.

• "I'm still waiting to have discussions with colleagues on whether to abstain or vote against"

The man purporting to be Mr Crockart was interviewed on BBC Radio Four's World at One and had earlier been quoted in the Evening Standard saying: "I will be voting against 100 per cent. I'm not going to be pushed out. Resigning probably will be the only option."

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The bizarre incident came as the Lib Dems remained in turmoil over the coalition's plans to raise the cap on tuition fees south of the border to 9000 per year - three times the current level - despite their general election pledge to vote against any increase.

Business Secretary Vince Cable floated the idea he might abstain on the policy in Thursday night's vote - even though he has direct Cabinet responsibility for the measure - but he has since said he will vote for it.

There were also hints that even Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg might not vote for the fees increase, but he declared at the weekend he would support it.

Mr Crockart said he had "serious concerns" about the fees package and would not vote in favour. But he said he had not yet decided whether to abstain or vote against.

If he voted against, he would almost certainly have to quit his job as parliamentary private secretary to Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.

The Evening Standard yesterday quoted Mr Crockart saying he would not ditch his pre-election pledge to oppose a fees rise and adding: "I have got better standards and morals than that. If we have got nothing else in this world, we have got principles."

The World at One followed up the story with an interview with a man who claimed to be Mr Crockart.

But Mr Crockart told the Evening News: "I'm the victim of impersonation."

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He said he had been hoping to be at Westminster to have a final round of talks with fellow Lib Dems ahead of Thursday's vote, but he had not been able to get down to London because of the weather.

He said: "My position is I still have serious concerns. I'm clear I am not voting for it, but I'm still waiting to have discussions with parliamentary colleagues on whether to abstain or vote against.

"In the meantime, nothing has changed. I have not resigned."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The error came about after a call to an incorrect number listed in the BBC's directory of MPs' contact details.

"Once the mistake was realised, steps were taken immediately to rectify the error."