Gordon Brown is said to have demanded a review of the technology behind identity cards.
The Guardian newspaper has reported that the Prime Minister has expressed concern that ID cards do not become another IT fiasco.
Brown’s intervention comes as the government is under pressure from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and human rights groups such as Liberty to scrap the expensive ID cards project.
The government has also been fighting in the courts to prevent organisations like Computer Weekly and the Guardian being granted access to Gateway Reviews undertaken on the ID cards project. It is believed they have been wholly negative and the government does not want them published for this reason.
Reports in the Guardian claim that ministerial sources have confirmed that Brown was concerned enough about introducing such a huge multi billion pound scheme to insist that the technology must work before it is introduced. Any review could delay the roll out of the programme from its current planned date of 2008.
Home office minister Lord West told BBC1’s The Politics Show: “Identity cards, for all the debate about other things, in a purely counter-terrorist role will be of help.”