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Simon Hughes prepared to go to jail rather than carry ID card

Posted by James Hammerton @ 6:46 pm on 27 November, 2005.
Categories political liberties.
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The Observer reports :

The Liberal Democrat president, Simon Hughes, yesterday vowed to go to jail rather than carry the proposed new national ID card.

The Bermondsey MP became the first senior politician to sign up to a civil disobedience campaign being mounted by opponents of the government scheme, which is facing strong opposition in the House of Lords. He told The Observer that he still hoped the bill would be defeated. But if not, he was ‘absolutely’ ready to go behind bars if necessary.

‘For me, it is a matter of fundamental principle,’ said Hughes, a former shadow home affairs spokesman. ‘I was born in this country and regard myself as a free man. I do not believe that I should have to identify myself as a matter of course.’ He added that if reported plans went ahead to link the ID card to people’s right to hold a passport, ‘I would also challenge that in court.’

His stand was welcomed by the cross-party group No2ID, which has been running an online campaign to enlist people to refuse to carry the card and to donate £10 each to a legal defence fund in support of anyone who was prosecuted. ‘We already have more than 11,000 people signed up to the pledge,’ No2ID director Phil Booth said. ‘I have no doubt that Simon Hughes’s forthright position will give a new boost to the campaign.’

The No2ID pledge can be signed online here. They’re looking for 15,000 signatures by January 8th, but no from people who have signed earlier pledges.

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