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May sends more staff to Passport Office

11 June 2014

She might not be worried enough to do anything more than a pooled clip to broadcasters, but Theresa May is clearly sufficiently concerned by the backlog in processing passports to announce the Passport Office will put more staff in place to deal with the backlog. Speaking to reporters this morning, the Home Secretary said:

‘The Passport Office has been putting plans in place since the beginning of this year when they started to see this increase in numbers. They have been increasing the numbers of staff, they’re now open, the Passport Office is working, from 7am to midnight. We’re seeing them working longer hours, more days of the week. But we will continue to look at this issue and the Passport Office will put more staff in place and the resources in place to ensure that they can deal with these applications.’

This is a tricky story for the government. On the one hand, a rise in applications for passports is, as some are arguing this morning, that Brits feel things are getting sufficiently better for them to book a holiday. On the other hand, hell hath no fury like a Brit who was feeling sufficiently optimistic to book a holiday finding out they can’t go because their passport application is still sitting in a box with thousands of others. Passports are one of the operations of government that voters can get very angry about very quickly, and so May can’t appear too unconcerned about this.

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  • ButcombeMan

    The number of passport applications to be processed at any time can be fairly accurately statistically predicted on the basis of the economy, precedent , numbers of passports in existence needing renewal and historical flow of new (novel) applications, a few days work for a statistician.

    if the Passport Office are not doing that the Head of the Agency is failing in their basic duty and should be fired.

  • Harry Clark

    How can the passport office get surprised by the number of renewals required since they issued them so they can predict exactly the scale of the problem years in advance ?, so if they did get it wrong as is suggested it has to be total management incompetence at government level

  • Ray Veysey

    The photograph purporting to be 500,000 passport applications is not verified to be true and comes from a particularly left wing union, I cannot believe that journalism has sunk so low that you don’t point that out. What do they say “don’t let the truth etc etc

  • Smithersjones2013

    Relations with police ~ fail
    Fulfilment of Immigration targets (after sacking the head of immigration and scrapping its agency status even) ~ fail
    Ability of Passport office to fulfil demand ~ fail
    Snoopers Charter thankfully crushed by the Libdems ~ fail
    Handing tens of powers to the EU ~ fail

    Is there anything May has succeeded in? Broken dysfunctional worthless Home Office……

  • rugby god

    hmmm, I wonder what the delay actually is? in this day and age, nearly everything is computerised, so why is there such a backlog? TBH, its almost as if those werkers in the Passport Office are being wilfully negligent in their duties…

    • Holly


  • Hexhamgeezer

    Which Passport Offices? There are massive differences in productivity around the country, and, as with certain Local Housing Authorities, a good few stones which need lifting.

  • Peter Stroud

    Seems exactly the correct thing to do. Well done Mrs May.

  • DavidL

    Quite right too. People should expect reliable services from the public sector, as they do from the private sector.

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