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No compulsory ID cards in next Parliament, says Brown

Gordon Brown has said compulsory ID cards will not be introduced at the next election if Labour wins.

In his speech today to the Labour Party Conference,...

Gordon Brown has said compulsory ID cards will not be introduced at the next election if Labour wins.

In his speech today to the Labour Party Conference, he said the controversial cards will not be brought in during the next Parliament. The general election is expected to be held next spring.

The speech confirmed a move already signalled by Home Secretary Alan Johnson. Labour has faced constant criticism of the policy, with human rights groups saying the biometric cards impinge on people's privacy.

The possibility of dropping the programme arose last week. It is unclear how much money stopping the project would save, with the project already fairly well advanced.

Pubic sector analysts Kable suggested in a study this year that scrapping the project altogether could save up to £3.1bn. A £175bn budget deficit is expected by the end of this year.

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