Attack launched on passports backlog

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Nearly 45,000 more passports were classed as a “work in progress” by the Passport Office two weeks after emergency measures to deal with a backlog were brought in, Labour has claimed.

During Home Office Questions in the Commons yesterday, shadow immigration minister David Hanson said he had obtained figures showing that 537,663 passports were classed as a work in progress on June 22 – two weeks after emergency Government measures were put in place – when 493,289 were in progress.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said the Passport Office was handling an exceptional period of demand, with four million applications already in 
2014. In response to questioning from Mr Hanson, he added: “To put that into some context, normally the Passport Office would handle around 5.5 million applications.

“Yes there are pressures there but the Passport Office is responding to that challenge.”