Seems another post bag of passport problems has prompted Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse to urge the Passport Office to step up its game after more constituents have beencomplaining of lost documents and extreme delays.
It comes after the Liberal Democrats revealed that there has been a 181% increase in the number of passports lost by HMPO in 2021 on 2020 levels.
Two of the cases are particularly egregious. Jonathan McClue applied for a British Passport back in April and submitted all the necessary documents. Receipt of said documents was confirmed on a HMPO application tracker a couple of weeks later. All the documents were sent together and was reassured by Customer Service several times that the documents had been received despite the system continuing to ask for his supporting documents.
He then got in touch with Wera Hobhouse MP’s office and staff made enquiries. They were given conflicting information. UK Visa and Immigration (who oversee HMPO) said that Jonathan needed to reapply and he would be assigned a caseworker to help him do so. This never happened. UKVI then said his application could be reinstated if HMPO were found to be at fault. The Passport Office then said the application could not be reinstated, contradicting the earlier advice, and said Mr. McClue would need to reapply. He is now too worried about doing so after the incompetence endured first time round which placed so much stress on him
HMPO have returned the birth certificate but not his naturalisation certificate and the Passport Office have admitted they have lost it. The Passport Office has said they will replace the naturalisation certificate but have given no timescale and Jonathan will not receive any compensation.
Eli Reina-Morris (they/them) applied in January for a passport but had to withdraw the initial application to get their supporting documents returned to them in order to provide proof they could work in the UK for a job. HMPO lost their father’s birth certificate in the process of returning the documents. Without this lost document Eli has not been able to secure Student Finance for their upcoming studies at Bath Spa University and has been put on an alternative payment plan after initially being told they could not enrol due to this fact.
Mrs. Hobhouse has requested a meeting with the relevant Home Office Minister and is looking to get this resolved as a matter of urgency.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath commented:
“Eli’s situation is horrendous. They cannot secure Student Finance as the Passport Office has lost documentation needed to apply. Jonathan waited six-months only to find out that his documents had been lost and that he would have to reapply all over again. This shambles needs to be rectified and fast. It is not fair to disrupt people’s lives like this
“It is no wonder HMPO is struggling when the Conservatives have gutted the Passport Office like they have with other public services. I will be pressuring the Home Office to get these matters resolved urgently.”