Local MP fights to stop Government breaking ID Cards promise

March 13, 2006 3:24 PM

For the second time in less than a month local MPs are voting against Government plans for every adult to be forcibly fingerprinted and have their details entered in a huge government database. Despite a government promise last year that registration would be voluntary, the so-called "ID Cards Bill" would force everyone getting a new passport to travel to the passport office and almost double passport prices. The House of Lords voted against forcible registration last week.

David Howarth will vote against forcible registration today.

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, said "There has been one attack on civil liberties after another and it is time that Parliament put a stop to it. We need to have a backbench rebellion against identity cards, it is time that MPs of all parties stood up to Tony Blair and said NO to the ID".

Cambridge City Council has decided not to cooperate with the scheme unless forced to by law.

City Councillor Colin Rosenstiel explained "For people like me with relatives who have chosen to live abroad, passports are not voluntary so making ID cards compulsory with passports breaks Labour's election promise. I hope the Lords will stand firm on this and that the Commons will be true to what was promised."

Local campaigners welcomed the stand taken by Cambridgeshire MPs.

Andrew Watson, Cambridge coordinator for the NO2ID group set up to fight the proposals, said "The government wants to nationalise personal identity, forcing us to hand over control of our personal data to the state. If the government thinks state control was bad for the railways and the car industry, why does it believe it's workable for personal data?".

Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said simply "When cattle are branded, it's usually not done for their benefit but for the farmers'".

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