Thousands of young people have protested in the streets of London against the increasing cost of education.

The protest, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), used the hashtag #GrantsNotDebt on Twitter, departing from Malet Street, the former University of London Union.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backed the demonstration, which was attended by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. McDonnell said at a rally:

Education is a gift from one generation to another, not a commodity to be bought and sold.

This government is betraying you and future generations and I’m here in solidarity for education.

Let me say this: your voice needs to be heard. This will be a peaceful demonstration, and safe, but make sure the Tories know that we are not going to stand for this any more.

(Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The protest marched towards Parliament Square, where it stopped before proceeding to the Deparment of Business, Innovation & Skills.

The London Student reported from the protest that arrests had been made following clashes outside the departmental building at around 3pm.

There have been unconfirmed reports of kettling on Twitter, with footage showing police halting protesters, some of whom claim they were contained.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement:

Shortly after 15:10hrs today, Wednesday, 4 November, a small group of protesters threw paint outside the Home Office and another group attempted to push their way into the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BiS) building but were prevented by police.

During this spell, a small number of smoke bombs and eggs were thrown at police outside BIS.

A cordon was put in place across Victoria Street at the junction with Dacre Street, SW1 to prevent disorder. There was no containment in place.

Officers have made a number of arrests for public order offences.

The NCAFC said it will call a national ballot for strike action through the National Union of Students (NUS) with a ‘massive’ national student strike occurring in early February:

This will be one of the biggest things the British student movement will ever have pulled off.

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