Passports backlogs blighting people
Passports backlogs blighting people's plans, but workers in HMPO appear to be silenced

Mary has today (13 June) invited workers at Her Majesty’s Passport Office Durham to raise their concerns with her, anonymously if needed, as application backlogs continue to blight constituents’ summer travel plans. 

It comes as Mary has stated that HMPO have refused to permit an onsite visit to discuss issues with staff, instead being told that it must be deferred to later in the year. 

Across Durham, much like the rest of the country, people have been waiting anxiously for their passport applications to be processed, with some being unable to travel on their first holidays since Covid restrictions were relaxed due to these delays. 

Earlier this year the Home Office opened a drop-in help desk in Parliament to aid MPs with queries from local residents regarding the backlogs in passport applications. Consequently, MPs’ Offices are now being contacted by large numbers of queries from concerned constituents as the busy summer travel period nears.  

Mary and her staff have been utilising the help desk in Parliament to provide updates to constituents who have been left in the dark over their passport applications, with many having to wait more than the initial 10 week target the Home Office set out. 

The Prime Minister has come under scrutiny over claims that he misled the House on this matter last month when he claimed that “everybody is getting their passport within four to six weeks…” in an answer at PMQs (25 May). 

Mary’s calls for concerns from workers at HMPO Durham follows the announcement that MPs are set to discuss the issue of passport backlogs in Parliament on Tuesday (14 June) in a debate called by the Labour Party. 

Commenting, Mary said 

“HMPO Durham is a major employer in my constituency and that is why I am concerned that, having requested a visit to HMPO Durham to discuss the issue of backlogs with staff, this has been refused by HMPO. It is important that workers at HMPO Durham receive the proper support they need through this difficult period, whether that is from senior leadership or from the Government.  

That is why I have asked workers at HMPO to email me with any concerns they might have about passport backlogs and the current working environment within HMPO. I’m aware that many individuals feel unable to speak out publicly, which is why I’m inviting anonymous contributions. No worker should feel silenced by their employer.  

Ultimately, better working conditions mean a more effective application process. I am looking forward to seeing what staff have to say.” 

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