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MPs urge Home Office to mandate PASS Cards

20 October 2011

MPs from across the political spectrum joined forces to urge the Home Office to mandate PASS cards as valid ID to counter the problems experienced by hundreds of cardholders whose cards are being rejected.

CitizenCard's meetings at this year's political party conferences discussed the growing problem of cards being refused by doorstaff and barstaff in several parts of the UK. Conference delegates and industry representatives discussed what more could be done to prevent underage access to alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Speakers included Paul Hegarty of Drinkaware, Christopher Ogden from TMA, Richard Hickson from Camelot and Paul Baxter from NFRN.

The MPs present all promised to take action. At the Liberal Democrat Conference in Birmingham on 20th September, MP John Thurso pledged to persuade the Home Office to act by mandating licensees to recognise the cards as valid ID, something that the Scottish Government already does north of the border. In Liverpool on 26th September, Labour MPs Pat Glass and Angela Smith said that the problem had to be solved because young people needed access to affordable, reliable ID which was one of the reasons why Labour had introduced national identity cards.

A week later in Manchester delegates heard that 40% of companies employing doorstaff would only recognise PASS cards if the Government "forced them to do so". Conservative MP Karen Lumley said she would speak directly with the Home Secretary to discuss making recognition of PASS cards, such as CitizenCard, mandatory. Meanwhile, CitizenCard Chairman Baroness Golding has tabled a Question in the House of Lords asking Home Office Minister Lord Henley what steps the Government is taking to solve the problem.

Citizencard held a final meeting at the Scottish National Party's Conference in Inverness on 21st October. Chaired by Edinburgh Councillor Tom Buchanan panellists included David McNeill, Young Scot; Geoff Barrett, Tobacco Retailers' Alliance; Gordon Robb, Highland Trading Standards; Janet Wood, BII Scottish Executive; and, Paul Waterson, Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA). MSPs George Adam and Gordon Macdonald attended along with several councillors and licensing board members.

Meanwhile, Home Office Minster Lord Henley has told CitizenCard Chairman Baroness Golding that the Mandatory Licensing Code will be reviewed shortly – holding out the chance that Government will finally mandate licensees to recognise PASS cards such as CitizenCard as valid ID.