GREEN MP Caroline Lucas has urged the Home Office to tackle a passport backlog, meaning people are waiting weeks for applications to be processed.
The Brighton Pavilion MP said the long wait for passports is the biggest issue people are raising with her, with many hoping to go on holiday in the summer.
In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Ms Lucas said: “I am receiving a staggering number of inquiries from desperate voters who have been waiting for their passports to be processed for more than 10 weeks.
“In many cases, people contact me because they simply cannot make a phone call to the passport office themselves or if they need answers to basic questions about their applications.
“Many are missing out on important life events, losing their jobs and, in the case of one of my constituents, their place as Britain’s representative on a national sports team is at risk because their application for renewal of their passport has not been processed.
“These delays are quite simply affecting the well-being of my constituents, who are no longer able to grieve, celebrate or enjoy time with loved ones, and are losing the work and career opportunities that impact their future. ”
Ms Lucas urged the Home Secretary to take action “immediately” to address the issues and ensure the passport office can meet demand.
Following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, hundreds of thousands of people across the country have tried to get new passports so they can travel abroad after years of lockdown.
But MPs were told earlier this week that the delay in processing applications might not improve before the end of the year.
The Director of the Passport Office, Thomas Grieg, said processing times might not return to normal for “a few months”, leaving people to face long waits for ID documents that would continue through the summer.
However, he said demand for passports had dropped “significantly” in recent weeks.
Five million applications have been processed so far this year, more than the total for 2021.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20299510.brighton-mp-demands-action-passport-backlog/?ref=rss Brighton MP calls for action on passport backlog