Phillips plea on ID cards vote

A SUFFOLK life peer has pleaded with the Government to stop “bullying” the House of Lords in the row over Identity Cards.The call comes from Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Lord Phillips of Sudbury, on the eve of a key vote aimed at finding a compromise solution to the Parliamentary deadlock over Ministers' plans for compulsory ID cards.

A SUFFOLK life peer has pleaded with the Government to stop “bullying” the House of Lords in the row over Identity Cards.

The call comes from Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Lord Phillips of Sudbury, on the eve of a key vote aimed at finding a compromise solution to the Parliamentary deadlock over Ministers' plans for compulsory ID cards.

The proposals have already been rejected four times on votes in the House of Lords.

Peers would prefer a voluntary scheme and say that compulsory ID cards go against the Labour Party general election manifesto, is an infringement of civil liberties and could lead to more identity fraud.


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MPs last week overturned the latest Lords defeat following protests from Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who condemned the Lords move as an attempt to wreck the legislation.

But the parliamentary “ping pong”' continues today when crossbencher Lord Armstrong will ask the House to back his amendment to the Identity Cards Bill to keep the scheme voluntary by allowing citizens to opt-out.

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Lord Phillips said: “It is time for the Government to reciprocate the Lords' willingness to compromise.

"No one better understands the constitutional considerations in this debate than Lord Armstrong.

"The Government must stop trying to bully the Lords and should instead listen to the merits of the argument.

“The House of Lords can be under no duty to endorse the Government's breach of faith with the public, by ignoring its own manifesto and effectively making ID cards compulsory.”

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