This year is the first time in more than two years that people can get away on summer holidays, reunite with family and friends and even attend funerals and weddings. But this has all been put into jeopardy due to the incompetence and poor planning of the Home Office.
Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley has written directly to the Home Secretary, demanding she take action urgently, reform the service and make sure people are not left without their passports ahead of the holidays.
Many constituents who have been in touch applied for their passport renewals in March, when the expected waiting time, set by the Home Office was five weeks. This timescale was then altered by the Home Office, without notice, and now people are having to wait 10 weeks and, in some cases, even longer, leaving many people unable to travel.
Over the past few weeks, I have been inundated by calls and emails from people who have applied to renew their passport. They have all followed the Home Office rules and applied well within time but, are having to wait for months on end to even get a response from the Home Office.
I was contacted by one resident who was planning to go on his honeymoon in May after delaying his wedding three times due to Covid. He applied to renew his passport in early March, when the waiting time was five weeks. By the time he contacted me, he had been waiting for eight weeks for his passport to be returned, and with less than two weeks to go, he was absolutely at his wits end.
Thankfully, with my intervention his passport was expedited and returned to him just in time for him to go on his honeymoon, but not everyone has been as lucky as he was.
The government must get a grip – the Home Secretary is more interested in chasing absurd headlines than she is in delivering a service for the people who need it.