Tories demand clarity on ID cards

By Ian Dunt

The Conservatives have demanded the new home secretary reveals his plans for ID cards after several contradictory messages.

The legislation committee established by Alan Johnson to look at the implementation of the scheme is currently being postponed while a new review of the cards, from ‘first principles’, is carried out.

Mr Johnson is thought to be privately sceptical about the scheme but willing to let it die a slow death rather than U-turn on it.

Yesterday, shadow immigration minister Damian Green made a point of order in the Commons asking if the review paved the way for a U-turn.

He told Mr Johnson an announcement that the scheme was being cancelled would prove “extremely welcome” on the Tory benches.

Mr Johnson denied any U-turn would take place.

“In my very first interview as home secretary I made clear that identity cards was a manifesto commitment and that legislation governing their introduction was passed in 2006,” he said.

“We remain on progress to bring in what we believe has widespread public support.”