Mary has today highlighted the serious concerns of staff at Her Majesty’s Passport Office Durham after receiving reports of bullying, rudderless senior management fostering a toxic working culture and rock bottom morale amongst staff. 

The City of Durham MP was speaking in a House of Commons debate called by the Labour Party on the current backlogs of applications at the HM Passport Office which is causing travel chaos for many families. 

Mary recently contacted the Central HMPO Home Office to request a visit to HM Passport Office Durham, which is a major employer in her constituency. However, after this request was refused, Ms Foy called on any passport staff with concerns to contact her anonymously. 

Subsequently, the Labour MP has been approached by whistle-blowers who have expressed their dismay at mismanagement across the service which they claim is exacerbating delays and placing staff under enormous pressure. 

One whistle-blower condemned management as “firefighting all the time, with no visible strategy for tackling problems” while another cited appalling morale amongst staff, with some feeling suicidal after alleged bullying from managers.  

Staff have identified a series of failings contributing to delays including the digital and paper application systems which are not compatible with one another. Additionally, staff have spoken of poor morale within the service, with 1700 additional staff promised to the PCS Union, representing civil servants, are yet to materialise. HMPO has become reliant on temporary agency staff who lack experience to tackle complex cases. 

Private call operator ‘Teleperformance’ was slammed as “inadequately trained and not knowledgeable and cannot handle the amount of phone calls they are receiving.” 

In her speech Mary highlighted the troubling testimony of HMPO staff and called for the Government to tackle the “toxic working cultures that have emerged” to ensure “productivity will return”. 

Mary added that “Until then, backlogs will continue to define this Government’s time in office. They sleepwalk from crisis to crisis and ordinary people are left to pick up the pieces. 

It’s time this Government put an end to Backlog Britain and treated staff with the respect they deserve.” 

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