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Lords fights back on compulsory IDs

Tells Blair to back manifesto pledge

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Tories in the House of Lords are hoping to throw out the Labour government's proposals for compulsory ID cards this afternoon - in part by pointing to Labour's manifesto commitments.

Originally, the proposed ID card was to be voluntary, but new plans mean that anyone applying for a new passport from 2008 will also get an ID card.

Lord Strathclyde, Tory leader in the Lords, said: "That fundamentally changes what the government said they were trying to do, which was to have a voluntary ID pass system. We want to go back to an entirely voluntary scheme. The reason why this is so important is that, if we don't get it right, some 85 per cent of people of this country will be affected within the next five to six years."

Strathclyde said he did not think the Upper House should oppose laws included in manifestos, but in this case the Lords is pushing the government to follow its manifesto commitments, not to avoid them.

The government has already overturned one Lords defeat on ID cards. ®

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