Priti Patel attacks Labour MP for ‘futile and cheap’ passport question
The house secretary has accused a Labour MP of intentionally deceptive the general public “by misrepresenting the time it’s taking to course of passport purposes”.
Priti Patel wrote to Afzal Khan, who represents Manchester Gorton for Labour, following an change at Prime Minister’s Questions within the Home of Commons on 8 June.
The Labour MP had challenged Boris Johnson over the prime minister’s assertion two weeks early that “To the perfect of my data, everyone is getting their passport inside 4 to 6 weeks”.
Mr Khan stated: “The Passport Workplace is at present quoting a 10-week service time, and lots of of my constituents are ready significantly longer than that.
“Cancelled summer season journeys might price households greater than £1bn. Does the prime minister settle for that the Passport Workplace’s backlog is inserting extra strain on households who’re already battling the price of dwelling disaster?”
Mr Johnson responded: “Really, I can inform the honourable gentleman that 91 per cent of individuals are getting their passports inside six weeks.”
After the change, the house secretary wrote to Mr Khan, saying: “Your deliberate political actions may have unnecessarily frightened tons of of 1000’s of members of the British public who’re at present making purposes, so as so that you can make a futile and low-cost political assault in opposition to the federal government.
“Since April 2021, we have now knowledgeable 5 million passport holders that they need to permit as much as 10 weeks when making use of for his or her passport with a purpose to issue within the elevated demand post-pandemic, which has seen 5 million folks delay their passport software, as we anticipated could be the case.
“Devoted workers are working tirelessly to take care of the report demand, and throughout March, April and Might 2022 we accomplished the processing of almost 3 million passport purposes.
“In anyone yr, Her Majesty’s Passport Workplace often processes 7 million passport purposes. This yr an unprecedented 9.5 million purposes are forecast to be made; because of this, extra passports are at present being processed than ever earlier than, at a price of as much as 250,000 per week.”
In keeping with House Workplace figures 9 per cent of purposes – round 90,000 month-to-month – take longer than six weeks, whereas 1.4 per cent take longer than 10 weeks. That represents 14,000 per thirty days.
Ms Patel says the figures are “in stark distinction to your inference that that is taking place repeatedly.”
She ends: “I hope you’ll suppose once more earlier than misrepresenting the operational supply of a authorities company and the hard-working officers who’ve been working tirelessly to ship passports to members of the British public and chorus out of your deliberate and inappropriate scaremongering in future.”
In April, a senior authorities supply stated that at a cupboard assembly Mr Johnson had threatened to “privatise the arse” off the Passport Workplace if delays continued.