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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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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.

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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."


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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.

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