Leaked documents published in the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper have raised more questions about the possible introduction of a national ID card in the country.
According to the Sunday Times, “the problems are so serious that ministers have been forced to draw up plans for a scaled-down ‘face-saving’ version to meet their pledge of phasing in the cards from 2008”.
The newspaper also revealed that one email blamed the prime minister personally for the scaled-down version.
The revelations have led to further criticism of the project from opposition MPs as well as groups opposed to the introduction of an ID card.
David Davis, shadow home secretary, said: “These are all the classic signs of a Whitehall IT project about to go disastrously wrong… The prime minister’s obsession with this project will actually weaken our security and cost at least £20bn. It’s time they admitted failure and cancelled this project.”
Nick Clegg, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats (the UK’s ‘second opposition’ party), added his voice to the furore by accusing the government of being in denial about the scheme.
Civil rights organisation Liberty also voiced its concern. “The government should stop searching for spin to save ID cards,” said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the group. “If the government has discovered ID cards to be a hideously expensive white elephant it should say so and spend the money elsewhere and we will all applaud.”
A pdf of the leaked emails, originally published in the Sunday Times, is available for download below.