Tories warn companies off ID cards

By Ian Dunt

A leading Conservative has warned companies involved in the government’s ID cards scheme not to sign any more long-term contracts.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling wrote a letter to five of the firms involved in the project telling them that one of the first acts of a Tory administration would be scrap the scheme.

“I want companies to be cautious and recognise that if they invest large amounts of money preparing for this business, it may not happen,” he told the Today programme.

“There’s a danger the government will build more poisoned pills into the contracts that will simply make it more difficult to scrap.”

The government is still committed to a nationwide rollout of the scheme, which will be trialled in Manchester this autumn.

But breaker clauses in the contracts securing it have led many commentators to believe the government is trying to put any future administration in handcuffs.

“I would be delighted if this slows down progress with the ID project because I think it’s the wrong thing to do,” Mr Grayling said.

The pilot scheme will go live in Manchester and London City airports later this year.