Passport backlog: Edinburgh MP Christine Jardine demands action as 2,000 wait six months for passport

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An Edinburgh MP has called on the Home Secretary Suella Braverman to tackle the alarming backlog of first-time passport applications.

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According to figures released under Freedom of Information, nearly 2,000 applicants have been waiting for six months including more than 100 who have been waiting for a year for their applications to be resolved. Some cases date back as far as 2018.

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said she lodged the FOI inquiry because of the number of her constituents enduring delays at every stage of their application with many waiting as long as two weeks for the Home Office even to acknowledge receipt of their documents.

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Unlike regular passport renewals, there is no system of escalation for applications that go beyond the Home Office’s own ten-week recommended processing time.

Ms Jardine said the delays affected not just people planning to travel abroad but also those newly granted UK citizenship. And she said the backlog was forcing people to put their lives on hold.

She said: “It is deeply alarming that so many people are having to wait months with no update and no idea what is happening. People are forced to miss out on visiting relatives, attend significant life events and are unable to provide proof of identity for education and housing.

“Many of my constituents are facing anxious waits as the system appears to have reached a standstill. It is unacceptable that people are being forced to put their lives on hold especially after going through a lengthy citizenship application process.

“The Home Secretary must ensure that clearing the backlog is an absolute priority and lift this barrier that has impeded so many people across the country for so long.”

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