Policy and Politics: Question Time - Phil Booth, National co-ordinator, No2ID campaign

What is the No2ID campaign?

It is an umbrella group opposing ID cards and a National Identity Register.

We are supported by a coalition of 65 NGOs, including Liberty, political parties, unions, city and county councils and 15,000 individuals.

What is your position on the ID Cards Bill?

We want to stop it. The ID scheme the Home Office proposes has met widespread criticism on the basis of its attacks on civil liberties and personal privacy, potential for discrimination and social division, fundamental constitutional change, blind reliance on over-complex and unproven technology and massive spiralling cost.

Who are your allies in Parliament?

We are supported by MPs of all parties and in both Houses. No2ID is utterly non-partisan.

Now that the Tories have declared their outright opposition to the Bill, the only party not opposing the scheme is Labour. Of the 25 Labour MPs who voted against the Bill at second or third reading last time, 21 are still in Parliament. About half of them are in the Campaign Group.

Before the election, No2ID had received communications from 80 Labour MPs who opposed or had serious reservations about the scheme.

The Liberal Democrats' opposition was unfortunately not matched by the Conservatives last time, but we have had consistent support from the Tory front benches, which, post-election, has resulted in their current position.

What is your plan of action now the Bill has been reintroduced?

We are going to continue lobbying individual MPs and hold briefing meetings at Parliament. There is a chance that the Bill can be stopped at second reading - but, even if it is not, increased opposition in the Commons means that it will get a much rougher ride in the Lords. Given Labour's intention to reform the Lords, there is a possibility that the Salisbury convention, which says that Government Bills can't be opposed by the Lords at second reading, may be ignored.

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