Liverpool Passport Office 'in blind panic' as 'backlog' revealed

Photos shown to ITV News appear to reveal the scale of the backlog at Liverpool's Passport Office, amid staff claims of "blind panic".

Latest ITV News reports

Tony gets passport after plea on Granada Reports

Tony Greenwood with Granada Reports reporter Ann O'Connor

Tony Greenwood told our reporter Ann O'Connor how he would miss his son's wedding in Mexico because of the backlog in passport applications.

Tony, from Bury, appeared on Granada Reports last night (click here to see video) saying he'd waited almost six weeks for a renewal.

The Government says more staff are working longer hours to clear what it says is a backlog of 30,000.

This morning, Tony got a call from the service saying he could pick up his passport.

It means he can fly to Cancun next Tuesday with 48 other family members and friends to see son Ryan and his fiancée Emma Howard tie the knot.

Ryan Greenwood and his fiancée Emma Howard

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Passport Office has 'fewer resources, but greater role'

The government has put passport services under strain with fewer staff but greater responsibility since 2010, Ed Miliband said at Prime Minister's Questions.

The Labour leader told MPs the problems showed the Home Secretary had "not been paying attention to the business of government" during her row with Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Read: 'Extra resources in place' to deal with passport backlog

National

Passport Office a 'shambles', travel expert claims

Simon Calder described "paper and photos... falling all over the place". Credit: Good Morning Britain/ITV

A leading travel writer has claimed the passport office is a "shambles" amid reports of delays to applications that could scupper some Brits' holiday plans.

Simon Calder told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I've been behind the scenes at the Passport Office and I couldn't believe that, in the 21st Century, there are so many bits of paper and photos and things falling out all over the place.

"It's a bit of a shambles really," he added.

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National

Cameron 'shares concerns' over passport delays

The Prime Minister "shares the concerns of families" about delays in the processing of passport applications, his official spokesman says.

He told a Westminster briefing that David Cameron: "very much understands concerns about the delays that people have been experiencing", adding "that is why it is absolutely right that additional measures have been taken."

The spokesman said that the number of applications for passports in the early months of this year was more than 10% up on the same period of 2013.

"We will continue to stay very vigilant on this, because families shouldn't face delays," he said.