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Liberal Democrats slam David Wilshire for backing down on ID cards

April 5, 2006 8:54 PM

Spelthorne MP David Wilshire has been accused of caving in to the Government over the introduction of identity cards.

Following the passage into law of the Identity Cards Bill, Cllr Colin Strong, Liberal Democrat leader of the Opposition, Spelthorne Borough Council, said:

"I am deeply disappointed that David Wilshire did not have the courage to join the Liberal Democrats in the vote to prevent the Government introducing compulsory ID cards before the next general election.

Mr Wilshire and his Conservative colleagues have completely let the Government off the hook over ID cards.

At the general election Labour made a manifesto pledge to introduce voluntary identity cards. But the Bill the Conservatives allowed through last night introduces compulsory ID cards by the back door by forcing anyone getting a new passport to have an ID card too. So the only way in

which people will be able to opt out of having an ID card is by giving up their right to travel abroad, which is an outrageous thing to demand.

Until yesterday the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were working together to ensure that no-one would be forced to have an ID card until after the last possible date for the next general election - so any party wanting to make ID cards compulsory would need a general election mandate to do so.

We had a real opportunity to guarantee a real debate and a general election before anyone was forced to have an ID card. That is why I am so disappointed that David Wilshire and most of his Conservative colleagues backed down and caved in to the Government over this when it came to the crunch.

So much for the Conservative Party's new found liberalism."