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No compulsory ID cards for UK citizens, says Brown

In his speech at the Labour Party conference, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised no compulsory ID cards for UK citizens.

Gordon Brown

The Prime Minister has confirmed that ID cards will not become compulsory for UK citizens.

During his speech today at the Labour Party Conference, Gordon Brown claimed the trials so far had been successful but that's as far as it would go.

"ID Cards for foreign nationals are now working but for the past two years we have worked on this," he said.

"We will reduce the information needed for biometric ID cards for no more than what is needed for passports and there will be no compulsory ID cards for British citizens."

The announcement led to a round of applause from the audience of peers at the conference being held this week in Brighton.

Last week, Vince Cable said were the Liberal Democrats to get into power, they would scrap the scheme to save money.

However, after the speech David Blunkett, former Labour minister, said on the BBC that he felt ID cards would save money and that Brown's concessions meant passports were likely to become mandatory instead.

"I am not worried about what happens in the next election," he said, "but I am worried about what will happen if we let go of a scheme that will save money on benefit fraud, the health service and illegal working."

He believed that Brown only said it to "try and shoot the fox of the Tories" that will use their anti-ID card stance to put down labour in the next general election, due in May next year.

Click here for more on government ID card plans.

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