‘Shambolic’ passport delays mean millions could lose their summer holidays

Home Secretary Kevin Foster said: “We would advise people that this is a very, practically unprecedented increase in demand, and if people are planning to travel this summer, we would advise them to apply as soon as possible.

But Tory MP Simon Hoare called the backlog of passports “predictable”.

The MP for North Dorset added: ‘I hear what the Minister has said, certainly my constituents are telling me their experience is either really, really good or it’s an absolute shambles.

“But I agree with what the MP who raised the issue in the first place said – there needs to be a better interface between MPs and the Passport Office when those voters, either for family funeral reasons or for vacation or business reasons, don’t get through, then get lied to by officials when they manage to get through.

“Something needs to be done to stop this and quickly. »

Mr Foster replied: “At the beginning of January we were processing around 60,000 passports a week and by mid-March we had almost tripled, if not almost quadrupled, the production of the service.

“I agree with him on the points raised earlier that we need to review the performance of the MPs Helpline, particularly where there are compelling and compassionate circumstances behind the acceleration of a request . »

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