David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, responds to a Home Affairs Select Committee report on the passport crisis.
“This damning report rightly exposes David Cameron’s Government’s complacency and incompetence in allowing the passport crisis to spiral out of control this summer. Ultimately Ministers have to take responsibility and admit it was their mistakes that led to the crisis, and that their response simply wasn’t good enough.
"It was Theresa May who closed overseas passport offices without putting in place any plans for thousands more passport applications to be dealt with here in the UK. This totally flawed decision came into effect at the start of peak season after she had removed hundreds of staff who could have helped deal with the influx, and despite sitting on a passport office surplus of £124 million from the past two years. It’s a clear case of total mismanagement from the Home Secretary.
“The Select Committee backs calls Labour has made for a rethink about the resourcing and management of the passport office, and for compensation for people who were unfairly charged for a fast track passport service. The live tracking of current work in progress would be an important step forward for the future. But these changes will come too late for the thousands of people who suffered heartache, stress and ruined summer holidays because of Theresa May’s inability to manage her department properly. Those people deserve a full apology from the Home Secretary and a proper response to the problems raised in this report.”