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Report 'exposes PM's complacency' over passport crisis

Report on passports "exposes David Cameron's complacency" over passport fiasco, shadow immigration minister David Hanson says Credit: PA

A Home Affairs Select Committee report on this summer's passport crisis in which holidaymakers suffered severe delays, exposed David Cameron's complacency over the situation, the shadow immigration minister has said.

"Ultimately ministers have to take responsibility and admit it was their mistakes that led to the crisis, and that their response simply wasn't good enough", Mr Hanson said.

MP: 'Serious management failures' at Passport Office

The Passport Office is guilty of "serious management failures" after a lack of staff at the agency caused a huge backlog in applications, the chair of Hasc has said.

Keith Vaz told Good Morning Britain: "Here is an organisation that has made £124 million in surplus over two years, with a 500,000 applications backlog at the peak of the problems in the summer - with hundreds of thousands of British citizens in misery."

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Govt wants 'no repeat' of passport chaos next year

The Government needs "to make sure there is no repeat" of the problems at the Passport Office that plagued holidaymakers this summer, a Home Office minister has said.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire explained:

We need to make sure there is no repeat of the problems experienced this year.

That is why the Home Secretary commissioned two reviews of HMPO to ensure it is working as effectively as possible.

We are currently considering the findings of these reviews and will be announcing our response shortly.

– James Brokenshire

MPs: Compensate victims of summer passport chaos

Holidaymakers who suffered severe delays due to this summer's passport chaos are entitled to compensation, an influential group of MPs has said.

The delays were caused by staff shortages at the Passport Office. Credit: PA

The Home Affairs Select Committee (Hasc) wants to see the Passport Office back under ministerial control and compensation paid to those who used the fast-track renewal service.

Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) was accused of putting holidaymakers' summer plans in jeopardy as it struggled to cope with demand and a backlog of applications in progress spiralled past half a million.

The number of applications has been cut from 550,000 to 90,000, according to ministers, but it has not been enough to stop thousands of families from missing their holiday.

Compensation should be paid to fast-track applicants, who had paid an extra £30 to have their passport renewed within a week of sending off their application, Hasc said.

Passport workers go on strike over staff shortages

Passport Office staff are on strike over staff shortages which they say have led to a serious backlog in processing applications this year.

Workers outside the passport office in Victoria, central London go on strike over staff shortages. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Workers set up picket lines outside the passport office in Victoria, central London, during a strike over staff shortages which they say have led to a serious backlog in processing applications this year.

The action came following the highest demand for passports in 12 years. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

As many as 30,000 people have been caught up in the backlog as the number of passport applications topped the highest ever last month in excess of 775,000.

Customers wait to be served at the passport office in Victoria, central London. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Union: Passport office needs 'permanent jobs'

Permanent jobs need to be "put back" into the passport office if another backlog is to be prevented, according to the union which represents their workers.

Mike Jones, from the PCS union, said passport office employees were walking out because there needed to be "a permanent solution" to the staffing shortages which had caused the original backlog.

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Strike during passport backlog 'will jeopardise holidays'

Industrial action by passport office workers "will jeopardise holidays" as efforts to process the backlog of applications continue, the Government has said.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We are disappointed the PCS leadership has called this strike given that HMPO has been in discussions with the union on their issues of concern.

Holding a strike at this stage is irresponsible and will only inconvenience our customers and jeopardise their holidays.

We strongly urge PCS to reconsider this action which is not in the interests of staff or the general public they are dedicated to serving.

HM Passport Office staff know how important it is to hard-working people and their families to receive their passports in time for their summer holidays.

– Home Office spokesperson

Passport workers to strike as backlog continues

Thousands of passport workers will join a strike in a row over staff shortages as efforts to clear an ongoing backlog continued.

Passport Office staff are set to strike today as efforts to clear a huge backlog in applications continues. Credit: PA Wire

The Passport Office said the highest demand for applications in 12 years caused the long delays in processing passports.

Extra staff had to be drafted in to cope, while Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to apologise to those affected.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said poor staffing levels were partly responsible for the backlog of passport applications, claiming numbers had dropped by more than 300 since 2010.

Security worries after passport sent to wrong person

A British passport seen in close up. Credit: Reuters

The Passport Office insisted it took security "extremely seriously" after it emerged that a passport, birth certificate and visa documents were sent to the wrong person.

The documents, intended for a Pakistani man living in Lancashire, were sent to nursery worker Sarah Threlfall in Broughton, North Wales.

Passport office 'told me to cancel my holiday'

A frustrated father was told to cancel his holiday by the passport office when they failed to renew his documents within the three week time frame.

Vincent Woodwood told Good Morning Britain he had phoned the passport office to check he had enough time to renew his documents before sending it off, only to be repeatedly told it was either delayed or they did not have his application.

While Vincent's has now arrived, he is still waiting for his daughter's new passport to be delivered before the family can travel on holiday on July 4.

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