National identity card scheme to be axed
Wednesday 12 May 2010
The £5 billion national identity card scheme will be consigned to the scrapheap as a result of the new coalition Government, the Home Office confirmed today.
Axing the controversial scheme and associated identity databases were key manifesto commitments for both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Senior ministers must now choose how to withdraw several thousand cards already in circulation after individuals paid £30 and handed over personal information.
The majority have been handed to foreign nationals, but people in the north-west England, young people in London and airport workers were also able to apply.
Anyone holding a card can still use it for identification, banking and travel within Europe.
A message posted on the Identity and Passport Service website today urged anyone considering an application to wait for further announcements.
It said: "Both parties that now form the new Government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel identity cards and the National Identity Register. We will announce in due course how this will be achieved.
"Applications can continue to be made for ID cards but we would advise anyone thinking of applying to wait for further announcements.
"Until Parliament agrees otherwise, identity cards remain valid and as such can still be used as an identity document and for travel within Europe.
"We will update you with further information as soon as we have it."
Critics of the identity and passport scheme were likely to lash out at the enormous amount of money spent so far on the abortive project.
The Tories branded the scheme an expensive "white elephant" while the Liberal Democrats said Whitehall could not be trusted with the personal data.
Civil liberties campaigners said the cards would not be a "magic bullet" for crime and terrorism and instead threatened privacy, race relations and freedoms.
Labour ministers said identity cards and biometric passports would help prevent identity theft, illegal immigration and fight terrorism.
The National Identity Register, which underpins the scheme, went live in late 2009. More than 5,000 identity cards have been issued since the scheme began last year.
If Labour had won the election the scheme was likely to have gone live nationwide in 2011. It was expected to cost £5 billion over 10 years, with the former government insisting it would be self-funding.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...
competitive benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Outstanding analytic expertise is req...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high q...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...