Today I voted in Parliament for the government to publicly apologize over their mishandling of passport processing, and for them to urgently address the backlog.
It’s unacceptable that people in Plymouth and across the country are being forced to cancel their travel plans because of delays in processing passports and visas. It was entirely predictable that there would be a spike in applications after Covid-19 travel restrictions were lifted, but once again the Home Office have shown a lack of foresight and leadership.
Many families have lost thousands of pounds through cancelled holiday bookings, with others forced to miss overseas funerals, weddings and work engagements. Affected travellers are also facing wait times of six hours to speak to someone on the government helpline.
My team are doing all we can to help people experiencing passport and visa delays, but ultimately this is a problem that only the government can fix – they need to put in place the proper resourcing and workforce to deal with delays. I’ve already written to the Home Secretary to express my concern – this must be addressed urgently.