Cabinet plot deals blow to ID cards

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Indy Politics

A cabinet plot involving Jack Straw and Gordon Brown is aiming to deal a fatal blow to the Prime Minister's plans to introduce obligatory identity cards, according to cabinet papers leaked yesterday.

Confidential letters from the Foreign Secretary and the Treasury have been written to cabinet colleagues vociferously condemning the plans drawn up by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett. Both letters were sent out days before Tony Blair backed Mr Blunkett's initiative in his speech to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth, according to The Sunday Times.

In a six-page critique of the scheme, Mr Straw describes the plans as "flawed", adding that "no tinkering with particular issues will be able to resolve what is a fundamental political matter". It is the first time that the depth of divisions within the Cabinet over the plans has been revealed. So far, only Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, has gone public on her objections.

The revelations now make it highly unlikely the plan will make it into next month's Queen's Speech.