Monday, December 22, 2014   

UK passport backlog 'reaches half million'
(06-11 20:00)

Britain's Passport Office was forced to deploy hundreds more staff to deal with a backlog in applications approaching half a million, as the issue threatened to become a fresh political row.
Many applicants complain they are having to wait weeks longer than normal for new or renewed passports, putting holiday plans in jeopardy with the summer school break just a month away.
The Home Office says it currently has about 465,000 applications.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who had previously denied opposition claims of a passports ''crisis,'' said the problem was caused by a ''very, very high'' level of applications at the start of the year.
But the Public and Commercial Services union blamed job cuts and office closures for the long delays.
The passports issue threatens to become another row at the heart of government, hot on the heels of a dispute over the handling of Islamic extremism allegations in schools.
Labour's home affairs spokeswoman Yvette Cooper said May's answers to parliamentary questions on the passports backlog were ''incredibly complacent.''--AFP   
Other World breaking news:
US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list (12-22 12:24)
Obama says Sony hack was not 'an act of war' (12-22 11:13)
Australian PM denies government in crisis (12-22 10:58)
US officers shoot Canadian man on border bridge (12-22 10:56)
Malaysia charges Australian mum with drug trafficking (12-19 13:10)
Up to 11 dead in Japan snow storms: reports (12-19 12:47)
Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal (12-19 12:36)
SKorea far-left party dissolved for 'backing NKorea' (12-19 11:20)
11th Sierra Leonean doctor dies from Ebola (12-18 18:30)
SKorean group cancels plans for border tree (12-18 17:57)

More breaking news >>

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