Wednesday, 27 February 2008

London Mayoral Candidates and the National Identity Register

In late January or early February, I canvassed the candidates of major parties for the May 2008 election of the London Mayor, asking them to come out publicly with a statement that they would not co-operate with any national identity register (ID Cards) scheme if elected. I wrote:

I would like to know where the [your party here] candidate in the 2008 London Mayoral election stands regarding the national identity register. Will (s)he resist pressure to withhold services from people who do not have an identity card? The government intends to make the "voluntary" scheme effectively compulsory by making it impossible to get a new passport, driving licence etc. without an ID card. If London refuses to play the game, it will be doing its citizens a great service.

The Green party candidate, Siân Berry, responded with alacrity, saying that she had already signed the No2ID pledge in 2004 and was well known for her stand against the scheme (see and other sites). She goes on:

"I would not allow any services for Londoners to depend on the scheme, and would urge Londoners to resist the ID system individually as well.

You may also be interested in our Census Alert campaign to stop Lockheed Martin being given the contract to run the UK Census in 2011. This is a campaign I set up last year after finding out they were on the final shortlist, and there are now politicians from a wide range of parties supporting the cause. See for more details."

So that's a result then.

The Liberal Democrat party's candidate, Brian Paddick, sent me a personal letter by snail mail, which arrived today, in which he states that he is totally opposed to the ID cards. From a former police officer, this comes as a nice surprise (except to those who have been following his campaign closely) and is in line with the national party's line as represented by Nick Clegg (see Nick Clegg has publicly pledged to refuse to be registered, even if it means being taken to court.

Sadly, Brian Paddick did not go so far as to pledge that London would refuse to participate in any coercion by the Government to force people to join the scheme.

I didn't get any response from either the Conservative or (New?) Labour candidates or their representatives.

However, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson is on record as opposing the scheme - see

Only Labour candidate Ken Livingstone is really letting the side down. According to an Andrew Marr interview mentioned on the NO2ID site, he actually supports the ID card scheme - see

I hope this helps you when it comes to making the decision in May!

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