Boris Johnson’s claims about passports blown apart by data showing tens of thousands waiting over ten weeks for passports

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Tomorrow (Tuesday) Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper will demand urgent action in parliament from the Home Office to fix the backlog, which continues to cause misery for British families.

Labour has revealed tens of thousands of people have had to wait over ten weeks for a passport, as travel disruption continues to plague families.

The figures blow apart Boris Johnson’s claim in parliament that everyone was receiving their passport within 4-6 weeks.

The estimate, revealed by the Home Office in answer to parliamentary questions from Labour, suggests that in the first three months of the year – the most recent period for which data is available – over 35,000 people had to wait longer than ten weeks for their passport to be issued.

Last week there were reports of hundreds of people camped out in long queues at Liverpool waiting for an appointment.

Internal figures uncovered by Labour also reveal passport office civil servants were slashed by almost a fifth in recent years.

Full-time civil servants were slashed from 3,913 in 2016 to 3,232 in 2021, with many replaced by agency staff.

Commenting Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP said:

“The Home Office is a shambles and Ministers are totally failing to get a grip.

“Thousands of people have already had to wait more than ten weeks for their passports, far too many passports are getting lost in the system and no one can get proper information out of the helpline.

“The Government has failed to plan and badly mismanaged our services – this is the Tories’ Backlog Britain and it is letting families down.”

Commenting Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP said:

“These figures blow apart Boris Johnson’s nonsense claims.”

“This backlog is causing misery for families who are already feeling the pinch, and this hapless government is refusing to even acknowledge it.

“From processing passports to getting people through airports, this Tory government can’t even get the basics right.

“And now the Conservatives plan further senseless cuts, leaving staff fighting this huge backlog with one hand tied behind their back.”

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