Some passport interviews suspended amid backlog

Interviews for first-time applicants for passports have been suspended in London as staff struggle to deal with the 30,000 backlog of applications, the Home Office has said.

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Passport staffing claims 'misleading at best'

Ministers are being "misleading at best" if they claim the government has increased staffing levels in the passport service by using the last two years as a baseline, a senior Labour source has said.

"During that same time the workload has increased dramatically because of the Passport Office taking over from the Foreign Office the job of issuing passports overseas.

One of the big reasons for the backlog is that they have had a huge increase in responsibility and a decrease in staff.

– Labour source

According to Home Office figures, staffing levels in the passport service stood around 14% lower in 2013/14 than in the first year of the coalition government.

  • 2010/11: 4,017
  • 2011/12: 3,134
  • 2012/13: 3,284
  • 2013/14 (announced in parliament yesterday): 3,444

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