ID cards Bill suffers defeat in Lords

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Indy Politics

Peers have thrown out the Government's plans for identity cards for a second time, triggering a constitutional crisis by putting themselves on a collision course with MPs.

The Lords rejected plans for everyone to be forced to register for an ID card when they renew their passport, accusing the Government of reneging on its manifesto promise to make the scheme voluntary.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury, the Liberal Democrat frontbencher, said: "What we have here is a Bill that is compulsory, will require 40 million plus citizens to be interviewed for the purposes of taking out an ID card ... that carries heavy penalties for citizen failure and, above all, which has attached to it a major database of our private information."

The Home Office said it would attempt to overturn the defeat at the earliest opportunity. Andy Burnham, the Home Office minister, said: "This is a measure which is an integral part of the identity cards scheme and was backed by a healthy majority of MPs just two weeks ago.

"We have always been clear that the scheme is ... intended to become a compulsory scheme for all UK residents. A central part of that process is the linking of ID cards with passports as they are issued."