'We were only joking,' claimed Cameron and Clegg in an extraordinary turn of events earlier today. 'We were surprised the student fees hoax was taken so seriously. It was only intended as a bit of festive fun. We thought students liked that sort of thing.'
This latest twist in the university funding fiasco has left student leaders feeling embarrassed. 'On reflection, we should have realised no government could ever have tabled such ludicrous proposals as serious education funding policy. The penny should have dropped when they kept referring to the proposals as 'progressive'.'
Cameron and Clegg appeared smiling together on the steps of 10 Downing Street. 'We thought the proposals would get people out on the streets in the fresh air to have a bit of fun, exercising and keeping fit together. You would have to agree that, in this respect, the spoof proved an enormous success.'
The police and London authorities were less than amused. Clearing away the debris from the week’s protest marches and faced with mounting bills for an exclusive royal car re-spray, they declined to comment. Charles and Camilla are reported to be recovering well from arriving late at theatre.