OVER half a million Brits are set to miss out on summer holidays, thanks to the bungling passport office.
The backlog was running at 550,000 at the end of last month chiefs reveal, as they reveal they’ve desperately scrambled to process more than five million papers already this year.
And of those, 50,000 have been waiting for more than ten weeks, according to Tom Greig a director from the passport office.
He “We’ve reached record levels of output and in doing so we’ve had a decent service for the vast majority of applications, however there is a group, a very small proportion of that figure for who we haven’t delivered the service we’d like to.”
He added: “We accept that’s an issue and we’re very sorry for the people who have been put in that situation.”
Mr Greig said that in a normal year his department would process around seven million applications, but this is anticipated to rise to 9.5 million by the end of 2022.
Labour’s Diana Johnson, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee said she was “really shocked” by the delays, adding: “It’s not rocket science is it?”
She said it was a “ complete failure” of the organisation as they had expected soaring numbers as early as last summer.
It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed travellers will be able to sweep through “contactless” borders in two years.
Passengers will be screened by tech rather than having to speak to Border Force officers or use an e-gate.
Ms Patel said: “This includes ensuring we have a border that is fit for the 21st century which allows travellers to get a visa and pass through the border easily, while maintaining national security.
“I am also committed to ensuring our fantastic Border Force are given access to the most up to date automation technologies so they can use their specialised skills on protecting our border from those who seek to harm the UK.”