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ID card minister forgets ID card

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Already shouldering the unfortunate burden of cheerleading for the ID cards scheme, one might expect the universe might cut Home Office minister Meg Hillier some slack. Alas, at an event in Liverpool to promote said white elephant yesterday, she forgot her ID card.

Hillier blamed her forgetfulness on the demands of looking after her baby.

The blunder has nevertheless attracted plenty of scouse schadenfreude. Liverpool councillors last week voted to officially oppose the rollout of ID cards to the city, and the minister was there to rubbish their criticisms that the scheme will not prevent crime, terrorism or illegal immigration.

The Council will not recognise the ID card for official purposes.

"I think Liverpool Council are cutting off their nose to spite their face," the Liverpool Echo reports Hillier as saying.

"Under the current situation people bring their details in and they get lost. This saves a lot of messing around."

Hillier's intervention came after the Manchester ID cards pilot was extended across the north west. From January people in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria will be able to apply for a card, should they so wish.

"Identity cards are already proving themselves extremely useful in daily life, from opening a bank account to entering a nightclub, and for travel to Europe," said Hillier in the press release.

All of which assumes people will remember to carry them. ®

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