The UK government’s controversial plan to make ID cards compulsory by 2013 has been “killed off”, reports the Independent. New Home Secretary Alan Johnson has pledged that the scheme, initially put forward to tackle terrorism, illegal immigration and serious crime, will remain “entirely voluntary for UK nationals”. The climbdown comes not just after attacks by Tory leader David Cameron, who vows to scrap the scheme if elected, but also from “tensions” within the Government itself, the London daily reports. Opposition to the plan has focused much less on a possible infringement of civil liberties than on its estimated £5bn cost. Civil liberties groups point out, however, that citizens travelling outside the UK are nevertheless added to an ID register when renewing their passport. Said one group – “It’s only voluntary in the sense that you can 'choose' never to have a passport”.