To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the backlog of correspondence at HM Passport Office on the adequacy of help for correspondents; what strategy is in place to clear that backlog; and what discretion will be in place for people who have been affected by that backlog.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office will always endeavour to ensure that correspondence is handled in a timely manner, however there are currently high levels of contact which is causing some delays. In light of this, a triage process is in place to support those with the most urgent needs. We are working to recruit additional staff to deal with enquiries, alongside using other contingency measures, such as overtime.
For those who need a British passport urgently on compassionate grounds they should continue to call the Passport Adviceline.
A British passport will not be issued until all checks have been satisfactorily completed, however passport applications continue to be typically processed well within the published guidance of up to ten weeks.