Controversial plans to introduce a compulsory ID card scheme across the UK will not become law ahead of the election, Charles Clarke has confirmed.
ID cards have been controversial from the outset
The home secretary said the Tories had decided "to kill the bill" and said Labour would re-introduce the plans if re-elected on 5 May.
Mr Clarke blamed splits within the Conservative Party.
A Tory spokesman has said it would be "quite wrong" to blame them for any failure to pass law before an election.
"It is the government that decides the date of the election and the government who decided to pack the Queen's Speech with too much legislation," the spokesman said.
He added the ID cards scheme was not due to come into force for 10 years so it was unwise and unnecessary to rush through a bill now.
The Lib Dems have long opposed ID cards on civil liberties grounds.
Mr Clarke said: "Labour's manifesto will confirm that the reintroduction of identity cards legislation will be an early priority after the election."
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The ID scheme would cost an estimated £3bn and see each UK citizen issued with a "biometric" card bearing fingerprints and other personal details which would also be stored on a new database.
Opponents say that the plans will infringe citizens' privacy but ministers insist they will help tackle illegal immigration, organised crime and terrorist groups.
Mr Clarke said the Lib Dems had failed face up to "resolving the tension between individual liberty and community security".
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell meanwhile struck a deal with the Tories to save the Gambling Bill, by agreeing to scale down plans for eight super casinos to just one.
Tory culture spokesman John Whittingdale said the government had accepted his party's proposal for one "prototype" supercasino and on that basis they were prepared to allow it to pass into law.
Lib Dem Don Foster said: "We welcome this deal, which crucially allows for the rapid introduction of a tougher regulator whose remit will include internet gambling."