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Point of Order

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 8 June 2022

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will remember that I recently challenged the relevant Minister with an urgent question about the poor performance of the Passport Office. A constituent who applied for a passport in February is due to travel next week, so yesterday, after queuing up at Portcullis House, I found out that their extra paperwork has been stuck in the post room at Peterborough for two weeks and not taken forward.

In recent weeks, I have tabled 10 or so written parliamentary questions seeking clarification on the size of the Passport Office backlog, the extra income received by the Department after constituents had to apply for fast-track applications, and how soon the current 10-week turnaround for applications can be brought back down to the normal three weeks. My reasonable questions are being dodged. The Government’s incompetence is worrying for families who are afraid that the bedlam will ruin their summer holidays. How can I get these points on the record and get the Government to up their game and help families across our country?

The main thing is that the hon. Member has certainly now put that on the record again, and quite rightly. I do not think there is a Member here whose inbox has not seen a problem with the passport situation. I expect questions to be answered quickly and not to be dragged out or lost somewhere in the system. Although it is not a point of order for me, it is on the record. But I do give notice that when questions are laid they should be answered as soon as possible.