People up and down the country including in Bristol are struggling to renew their passports. Several have been waiting months for a simple passport renewal, with little or no information from the Passport Office. These huge delays are a result of chaos and incompetence at the top of the Home Office.
Entirely predictably, many people delayed applying for a new passport during the Covid crisis, knowing that they would probably not be able to use it. And as anticipated, many people now want to go on holiday or visit relatives and friends abroad, having not seen them for two years.
This has of course increased the demand for passport applications but should have been foreseen. Labour has been raising it for some time.
In addition, the EU is now asking for UK citizens to have at least six months on their passport before the expiry date when they travel to or within the EU.
I am putting questions to the Home Secretary to get this fixed and have also raised it in Parliament. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has also been pushing for the Home Office to get a grip on this problem. Unfortunately, it seems the Home Secretary is keener to stoke up division and xenophobia than address the failings in her department.
If you will need to renew your passport this year, you will probably want to get your application in as soon as possible. More information is available on the government passport website.
After the last two years, I can appreciate many people are desperate to visit family abroad. Others will want to go on holiday or need to travel for work. So my Labour colleagues and I will keep pushing the Home Office to fix this very basic function of government and do so soon.