Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP

Home Secretary

Home Office

2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Open letter


5 August 2009




Dear Mr Johnson

ID cards a request for clarification

In late June 2009, the Identity & Passport Service released Safeguarding Identity [1], a paper on the National Identity Service (NIS) which says at para.3.30 that:

The vision for the NIS is that it will become an essential part of everyday life, underpinning interactions and transactions between individuals, public services and businesses and supporting people to protect their identity.


In your foreword to the paper, you say that:

I fully endorse the actions set out in this strategy and look forward to supporting their delivery.


Putting the two together, you fully endorse ID cards and registration on the National Identity Register becoming an essential part of everyday life.

According to the Independent [2] newspaper, on 30 June 2009 you said that:

I want the introduction of identity cards for all British citizens to be voluntary.


Either the NIS is essential or it is voluntary. It cannot simultaneously be both. Could I ask you respectfully to clarify your position. Which is it? Essential? Or voluntary?

Yours sincerely

David Moss