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Government

ID cards, National Identity Register scrapped

The Conservative-Lib Dem government has begun its term by confirming the imminent cancellation of Labour's identity card scheme and its underlying database
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has confirmed that it will scrap the ID cards scheme and the National Identity Register.

"Applications can continue to be made for ID cards, but we would advise anyone thinking of applying to wait for further announcements," the Home Office said in a note on its website on Wednesday.

Wednesday was the first day of the new government, a coalition between the Tories and Lib Dems that was formed after last week's election resulted in a hung parliament.

"Both parties that now form the new government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel identity cards and the National Identity Register," the Home Office note said. "We will announce in due course how this will be achieved."

For now, those ID cards that have been issued remain valid and can be used for travel within Europe. However, the Home Office noted that this is only the case "until parliament agrees otherwise".

"We will update you with further information as soon as we have it," the note concluded. ZDNet UK asked for more details from Conservative Central Office on Wednesday, but had received none at the time of writing.

ID cards were first proposed by the then Labour government in 2006, although by 2010 they had seen a very limited rollout, mainly to foreign nationals. The National Identity Register, which underpins the scheme, went live in late 2009.

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