Hackney Constituency Labour Party, one of the country’s Labour heartlands, have voted to reject the planned national ID card and database system, calling on their MP to oppose the Bill. The motion was passed unopposed.
The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott (1), voted against the Bill at its second reading, and spoke strongly against it in the chamber.
Phil Booth, national coordinator of the NO2ID campaign (2) said:
This should strike an ominous tone at Labour headquarters. First the trade unions (3), and now some of Labour’s most loyal grassroots party members are making their objections perfectly clear. Opposition to his Bill has spread throughout public and political life – every party is united in their total rejection of this scheme, and now even staunch Labour members are beginning to speak out.
The government’s increasing desperation to drive through the Bill – passed by only 31 votes last week – is reflected in the highly partisan make-up of the Standing Committee. Despite 24 out of the 33 MPs who spoke in Parliament at second reading being highly critical of the Bill – including several Labour MPs – the Committee contains no serious Labour critics of the scheme and not one, but two Home Office ministers and two Parliamentary Private Secretaries with clear connections to the Home Office.
Tory barrister Edward Garnier said that it was “intellectually dishonest” to provide no reflection of the opinions of the House (4). Tony McNulty yesterday admitted that the Bill had “not received excessive scrutiny” (5) when it was first introduced last year, but Committee business has nonetheless been guillotined to finish on 19th July – just before Parliament retires for its summer recess.
Phil Booth added:
This obsession to pass the Bill at all costs, driven by an agenda that no-one will admit to, and flying in the face of all common sense, should be of concern to every person in the country. How can a government which is willing to go to such lengths to pass this legislation ever be trusted to defend our privacy and personal freedoms?
(1) More information available on Diane Abbott’s site: http://www.dianeabbott.org.uk/index.php?news=latest
(2) NO2ID is cross-party, non-partisan national campaign against ID cards and the database state.
(3) Eight trade unions including Unison (who voted to affiliate to NO2ID), T&GWU, and GMB, voted to reject ID cards before the second reading, calling on Labour
MPs to vote against the Bill. As reported in the press: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,11026,1515460,00.html
(4) As reported: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,11026,1522026,00.html
(5) As reported in Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmstand/d/st050705/am/50705s01.htm