What assessment she has made of the potential effectiveness of biometric identity cards in helping law enforcement agencies to tackle terrorism.
In respect of combating terrorism, can my hon. Friend confirm that the security services advise that a biometric identity card would be of value, and can he particularly say what their reasoning is for that advice?
The House will remember words said by my right hon. Friend Joan Ryan who quoted some of the material that has been found in al-Qaeda training manuals encouraging would-be terrorists to proliferate the number of identities that they have. It was the former director general of the Security Service who put it well when she said:
"Widespread use of false documents is an essential aspect of terrorist activities... ID cards will make it more difficult for terrorists to operate."