Passport delays: Sheffield MP warns holidays could be ruined for many after being 'inundated' with calls

A Sheffield MP says many Britons’ summer holiday plans are being placed in jeopardy due to long waits for passports.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:37 pm

Louise Haigh, the Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, told how she had been ‘inundated’ with calls and emails from people who have applied to renew their passports and are having to wait ‘months on end’ to even get a response from the Home Office.

One man, who had been forced to delay his wedding three times due to Covid, feared he would miss out on his log-awaited honeymoon and was ‘at his ‘wits end’ until Ms Haigh intervened to ensure his passport arrived in time.

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Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh says many constituents fear missing out on their holidays because of delays to passport renewals (pic: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

“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,” said Ms Haigh.

“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.”

Ms Haigh told many constituents told how they had applied in March, when the expected waiting time, set by the Home Office, was five weeks, but this timescale was altered without notice and they were now having to wait 10 weeks or more.

She said she had written to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, demanding she ‘take action urgently’.