ID cards still top of Labour's agenda

The government's election campaign coordinator has confirmed that the failed ID cards legislation will be one of his party's top priorities if re-elected
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Legislation paving the way for identity cards will be reintroduced by the summer, if Labour wins the general election.

Labour's election campaign co-ordinator, Alan Milburn, said that following events, including the ricin case trial, the public needs to be reassured that "every action" was being taken by government, the police and security services to combat terrorism.

"I have spoken to the Prime Minister and Charles Clarke, who have agreed that the Identity Cards Bill will be a major plank of Labour's first Queen's Speech if we win the election," he said.

"If Labour win, the ID Card Bill will be reintroduced before the summer," he added.

Legislation to introduce the controversial biometric ID cards did not make it through parliament before the election was called, and Labour said this was the fault of the Conservatives.

"Only last week, the Conservatives blocked ID cards from becoming law, after nearly three years of discussion in parliament," claimed Milburn.

"I now challenge Michael Howard to say whether the Conservatives will support or oppose the ID Cards Bill when it is reintroduced in parliament," he added.

A Conservative Party spokesman said the party was in favour of ID cards in principle, but if elected would hold a review of the project before going ahead.

Liberal Democrats are opposed to the plans and say hundreds of millions of pounds can be saved by scrapping ID card plans.

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