Tory party set to withdraw ID scheme support

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Sun Feb 6 12:34:19 PST 2005


The Register

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Tory party set to withdraw ID scheme support
By John Lettice (john.lettice at
Published Sunday 6th February 2005 12:10 GMT

The Tory Party is to withdraw support for the UK's identity card scheme,
following the Government's failure to deal with the 'five tests'
( the Tories put
forward as a condition of their support. Tory leader Michael Howard
personally favours ID cards, but substantial sections of his party are
either sceptical or totally opposed to them.

According to a report
in today's Sunday Telegraph, short of a face-about by the Government when
the House of Commons votes on the bill on Thursday, the Tories will now
abstain. This may induce more Tory refuseniks to vote against the scheme,
but even if the party line was to oppose rather than abstain, it would
still be approved because of Labour's large majority.

The Liberal Democrats have opposed the scheme throughout the bill's
passage, and Richard Allan MP, who has been arguing the party's case
through the Bill's brief committee stage, has moved a number of amendments
which he expects to be ignored. Allan predicts that the report stage of the
Bill (where the Standing Committee's report back is considered) will take
approximately three to four hours, leaving as little as 30 minutes for the
Commons to consider the Bill prior to the curtain being brought down
(Allan's comments and amendments here

The Bill will however be likely to run into stiffer opposition in the House
of Lords, where the LibDems have a number of highly competent opponents,
and where Tory opponents may view their party's tiptoeing away from support
as carte blanche to cause mayhem. .

Related Stories:

Tory group report attacks ID scheme as a con trick
Parliamentary report flags ID scheme human rights issues
UK gov ready to u-turn on passport-ID card link?

) Copyright 2005

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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