Half term holidays in jeopardy as Brit families left waiting for passports

Families face missing out on holidays as passports lost by the Home Office reach a five-year high.

Parents have also been hit by processing delays that could see them trapped on UK soil for the upcoming half-term break.

New figures show one in 20 applicants now waits over 10 weeks for their travel documents. More than 409,000 people were affected by delays last year, according to data obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

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The shocking figure marks a 668% increase on 2021, when 61,210 incidents were recorded.

Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath, said: “These are new heights of incompetence for the Home Office.

“British travellers who urgently need new passports are being left high and dry by delays.”

Meanwhile, a shameful 487 passports were “confirmed as lost” between June and September – the highest number going back to at least 2018.

They were said to have disappeared “while in the hands of secure delivery providers”.

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Speaking to MPs last month, Passport Office director Thomas Greig warned applicants were being told it could take up to 10 weeks to receive their identity papers.

A Passport Office spokesman said: “In 2022 we served more customers than ever before.”


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