MP supports student campaign against ID cards

November 28, 2008 2:42 PM
Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats ID petition

David Howarth MP signs the students' petition with (from left) William Barter, Rosie Shimell and Nick King.

Cambridge MP David Howarth has backed a student campaign to fight the Government's plan for a national database and ID cards.

Mr Howarth signed a petition organised by the Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats when they were out in the city's Market Square today (Friday).

Their petition calls on the Government to "scrap its plans to introduce a national register and ID cards".

It says the plan is "expensive, intrusive and ineffective" and abandoning the scheme could save enough money to put 10,000 more police officers on the beat.

They are highlighting the issue as the Government rolls out the first phase of its plan by giving ID cards to foreigners and students.

Mr Howarth said: "I applaud these students in bringing this issue to the people on the streets of Cambridge.

"The Government has targeted the weaker groups, such as foreigners and students, in an attempt to bring in ID cards by stealth. They are softening up public opinion by trying to link ID cards with the immigration issue.

"But ID cards have serious implications for everyone. The Government has time and time again managed to lose sensitive information; how can it possibly be trusted to keep information on a national database out of the wrong hands?"

Joe Rinaldi-Johnson, chairman of Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats, said: "The response to the petition has been overwhelmingly positive.

"It is incredible that by, introducing ID cards for students, the government is treating them as criminals.

"Labour and the Conservatives are relying on their messages getting out through the media; they are not taking their messages to the people and that is what we have got to do."

Treasurer William Barter said of those asked to sign the petition: "Some people are against ID cards from a liberty standpoint and others believe it is dangerous because of the government's own record for losing information."

The students' petition can be signed on line by visiting their website at

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