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Shepway Lib Dem Chair Joins Lib Dem MPs in "Renew for Freedom" Campaign

May 24, 2006 4:51 PM

The Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team today applied to renew their passports to prevent their details from being added to the ID cards database. Locally, Shepway Lib Dem Chair and Treasurer and Anti-ID Card campaigners, Tim Prater & Darren Briddock, have also applied to renew their passport in protest at the new ID card scheme.

Once the Government has set up the National Identity Database, everyone who applies for a passport will have to attend an interview and have their fingerprints and irises scanned.

Passports issued now will be valid for 10 years, meaning people will be able to wait until 2016 before they have to register for an ID card.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP said:

"ID cards will be expensive, intrusive and ineffective. I urge everyone who is concerned about their introduction to join the NO2ID 'Renew for Freedom' campaign and renew their passport over the coming weeks.

"The Liberal Democrats were the only party to vote against the introduction of identity cards, and we're making our opposition clear today by buying ourselves 10 years of freedom from this unnecessary scheme."

The anti-ID Cards lobby group NO2ID is running a campaign to get people to renew their passports this May. More details are available at www.renewforfreedom.org

Tim Prater has also backed the campaign, and has applied to renew his passport:

"At this moment, the form is completed and ready to return - I just need to get the photos taken! Compare this with the new rules: with interviews, iris-scans and fingerprints being required, a photo will be the least of the problems in renewing.

"This is another hugely expensive Government project that will do no good, has the possibility of causing great harm, extends the Big Brother state and will cost billions."

Passports can be renewed at any time, irrespective of their expiry date. MPs Nick Clegg, Lynne Featherstone, Mark Hunter, Roger Williams and party president Simon Hughes, took their passports to the London passport office in Victoria.

Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke confirmed on 21st March 2006 that passport renewal before the introduction of the National Identity Database will stop details being entered onto the register:

".... anyone who feels strongly enough about the linkage not to want to be issued with an ID card in the initial phase will be free to surrender their existing passport and apply for a new passport before the designation order takes effect."