ID card bill gets Tory boost

Michael Howard has pledged Conservative support to the government's ID card bill, but only if it meets his party's criteria
Written by Jo Best, Contributor
After months of opposition wrangling, the Conservatives have pledged their support to the government's ID card bill, which the party had previously described as "deeply flawed".

Tory leader Michael Howard has quashed disagreement within the shadow cabinet to officially offer Conservative backing to Downing Street's ID card plans.

Some senior Conservatives had voiced dissatisfaction about the plans for a UK-wide identity card, with shadow home secretary David Davis notably against the government's proposed scheme, chiefly on civil liberties and cost grounds.

In a statement, the Tory leadership said: "The Party will give its support in principle at this stage" but the volte-face doesn't mean the Conservatives will raise no objections to the bill's terms.

"During the course of the bill the Conservatives will continue to hold ministers to account over our five tests: the exact purpose of the scheme; whether it will meet those objectives; whether this Home Office is capable of delivering them; the cost effectiveness of the scheme; and whether proper protection can be provided for privacy," it added.

The ID card bill will get its second reading on Monday.

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