British prime minister Tony Blair has won a crucial parliamentary vote on identity cards. The bill passed by 310 votes to 279. It was originally approved in October but was blocked in the upper house-known as the house of Lords- last month. The government claims the introduction of the biometric cards will help in the fight against terrorism. They will include the latest fingerprint, iris and face recognition technology.
But some Labour back benchers and opposition members claim the cards will be too expensive and erode civil liberties. The vote was the first of two major tests of Blair’s authority this week. On Tuesday, the government faces a vote on smoking in public places, and on Wednesday, debate switches to anti-terrorism legislation.