Jack Straw MP

Jack Straw MP (Labour) for Blackburn. Leader of the House of Commons, Lords Reform and Party Funding

Digital Economy Bill

Not contacted. Voted in favour.

Identity cards

The Guardian Straw signals rethink on ID cards 11 May 2007

While the former home secretary has been supportive in public, leaked papers have made clear that he repeatedly opposed the idea in cabinet.
In 2003, when he and the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, forced the postponement of the introduction of a compulsory scheme beyond the next election, he warned that the potential for a :"large-scale debacle which harms the government is great".
"Any further decisions on the next steps must be made collectively. I will continue to urge strongly that this issue be shelved," he told his cabinet colleagues on September 24 that year.
Mr Straw raised concerns about the lack of effective procedures to deal with those who refused to provide an electronic fingerprint or eye scan.
He also warned of potential loopholes that could be exploited by economic migrants, the need to safeguard the position of the 15 million Britons living abroad and the 1 million Irish citizens in the UK, and unnecessary spats with the European courts over the human rights compatibility of cards.

Children's Digital Rights

Responding to a request for a Parliamentary debate on school fingerprinting Jack Staw said 25 January 2007

I am not aware of the practice, but obviously people have accepted it. There is a problem with ensuring people's identity, and one of the ways of doing that is to use biometric data. Security in libraries is a big issue for younger and older people. If the hon. Gentleman really thinks that this is an important matter, he can raise it on the Adjournment.

DNA database

It is complete and utter nonsense to suggest that there are no safeguards for the DNA database. My constituents are delighted that there is a DNA database that is now ensuring the conviction of rapists who were previously going free. I dare say the same is true in his own constituency, and what he needs to do is to explain to law-abiding members of the public there that, under his policy, all these criminals would be going free, but for the introduction of the DNA database.


2007-05-11 - The Guardian - Straw signals rethink on ID cards
Author: Alan Travis
Summary: Jack Straw, widely expected to replace John Reid as the home secretary, today clearly signalled that the future of the national identity card scheme would be in the melting pot when Gordon Brown becomes prime minister next month. Mr Straw - who is Mr Brown's leadership campaign manager and has a long record of cabinet opposition to a compulsory ID card system - indicated that the future of the £5.75bn project would be under review in the new government.
2007-01-29 - The Register - Parliament won't debate school fingerprinting
Author: Mark Ballard
Summary: The question of whether it's necessary or desirable to take school children's fingerprints has not made it on the agenda for Parliament. Greg Mulholland MP for Leeds North West and the Liberal Democrat schools spokesman, requested a Parliamentary debate on school fingerprinting last Thursday. ... Straw refused, claiming ignorance: "I am not aware of the practice [of fingerprinting children at school], but obviously people have accepted it," he said. "There is a problem with ensuring people's identity, and one of the ways of doing that is to use biometric data," he went on, "Security in libraries is a big issue for younger and older people." The matter could be left for an adjournment debate, Straw said.
2005-07-14 - The Register - UK ministers push for data retention
Author: Lucy Sherriff
Summary: Regular readers might remember that the proposal is widely considered to be unworkable, expensive to implement, invasive, and unnecessary, as well as possibly being illegal. The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to back calls for the draft to be abandoned. Setting details like these aside, Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary) and Charles Clarke (Home Secretary) have used visits to Brussels to urge MEPs to overcome industry fears about costs, and concerns about civil liberties, and pass the necessary laws. UK ministers have gone on the offensive in Europe in a bid to persuade MEPs to push through laws on data retention.
2004-03-21 - The Sunday Times - Blunkett fast-tracks ID cards
Author: David Cracknell
Summary: Cabinet ministers are accusing David Blunkett, the home secretary, of attempting to sneak through compulsory identity cards after they blocked the scheme, leaked cabinet papers reveal. The home secretary’s plans are being attacked by colleagues just as anti-terrorist measures are back at the top of the agenda after the Madrid bombings and public support is growing for ID cards. In a concerted campaign, four senior ministers — Jack Straw, Alistair Darling, Paul Boateng and Patricia Hewitt — have written letters protesting against the move by Blunkett, who is due to publish a draft ID cards bill before Easter. They are furious that the home secretary has inserted a clause that would grant the power to introduce compulsory cards with a single vote in the Commons and without another act of parliament being passed.