Backlog dealing with passport applications

The Passport Office is to put more staff and resources in place to deal with a backlog of applications, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

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Families have to cancel holidays due to passport delays

Video. Hundreds of people across the South are playing a waiting game tonight to see if they can go on holiday, because they haven't got their passports back from the passport office.

Despite claims that there is a huge backlog, the government says there's no delay, but they have drafted in extra staff to work seven days a week to process applications.

For some families though, it's too late. Their holiday plans have had to be changed or even cancelled.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Laura Mansfield, whose daughter Gracie still hasn't received her passport, James Brokenshire MP, Home Office Minister, ITV Meridian Journalist Rachel Hepworth and Travel Editor from the Independent, Simon Calder.

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PM: Up to 30,000 passports delayed by backlog

David Cameron said less than 10% of applications had been delayed.

Up to 30,000 passport applications have been hit by delays, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister insisted that hundreds of extra staff have been drafted in and new offices are being opened in Liverpool next week in to help tackle the backlog.

Ed Miliband called on the premier to "get a grip" as he warned that thousands of people face cancelled holidays as a result of the problems.

But Mr Cameron accused the Labour leader of trying to "frighten people".

He said: "We have 300,000 extra applications than is normal at this time of year. We have increased massively the staff. The level of applications outside the normal three-week limit is less than 10% of that 300,000."

National

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

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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.

National

'Passport delays' spark summer holiday concerns

Some British holidaymakers could have their summer holidays ruined due to lengthy delays caused by an application backlog at the passport office, the Sun (£) has reported.

Passport fraud staff have been diverted to help with the extra workload amid a struggle to issue travel documents before the summer holiday season, the Guardian said.

Some holidaymakers could face an anxious wait for their passports this summer. Credit: PA

The Passport Office's interim chief executive Paul Pugh denied there was a backlog, saying: "We have been experiencing exceptional early summer demand for passports. We have brought in extra staff to respond to the extra demand."

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Home Office: 'Unprecedented' demand for passports

The Home Office says it has seen the highest volume of applications for 12 years.
The Home Office says it has seen the highest volume of applications for 12 years. Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

The Home Office says passport office staff are working "seven days a week" to deal with an increase in passport applications amid complaints of delays.

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said the passport office had taken on additional staff earlier this year to deal with "unprecedented" demand.

He said: "Between January 1 and May 31 HMPO has received 3.3 million applications - 350,000 more than the same period last year, and the highest volume of applications received for this period over 12 years."

"As a result they have put in place a system of measures to deal with it and to see that people receive their passports in good time [...] customer service staff are working seven days a week to process the high numbers of applications."

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