The estimate, revealed by the Home Office in answer to parliamentary questions from Labour, suggests that in the first three months of the year more than 35,000 people had to wait longer than ten weeks for their passport to be issued.
Speaking to The News, Portsmouth resident branded the Passport Office an ‘absolute shambles’ after it lost his son’s application for a passport, with the family facing a costly holiday disaster.
Last week there were reports of hundreds of people camped out in long queues at Liverpool waiting for an appointment with the Passport Office.
Internal figures have revealed passport office civil servants were slashed by almost a fifth in recent years, according to Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South.
He said: ‘The Home Office is a shambles and ministers are totally failing to get a grip.
‘Thousands of people across the country have already had to wait more than ten weeks for their passports, and far too many passports are getting lost in the system and no one can get proper information out of the helpline.
‘I know this is a particular issue for constituents too, with one having waited over six months on their application, despite providing all the documentation requested by Home Office officials.
‘The government has failed to plan and badly mismanaged our services – this is the Tories’ backlog Britain and it is letting families down.’