Newport MP Paul Flynn calls for passport chief, Paul Pugh, to go, saying 'he would be no loss to the country'

South Wales Argus: RESIGNATION CALL: Newport West MP Paul Flynn has called for Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh to go RESIGNATION CALL: Newport West MP Paul Flynn has called for Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh to go

NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn today called for the resignation of Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh, saying his going would be "no loss to the country.”

His call came as MPs questioned the Home Secretary Theresa May over the passport backlog in an opposition day debate in the House of Commons.

Paul Flynn was joined by Newport East MP Jessica Morden in the debate tabled by Labour to address the delays which have led to many people having to cancel travel plans and pay additional fees.

Mr Flynn said: “The Newport office is no longer a fully fledged office. In this crisis hundreds of people were forced to go to Liverpool. We've got half a passport office in Newport which is a disgrace as Wales deserves at least one fully fledged passport office."

The Home Secretary said: “The Newport passport office continues to operate as a customer support centre with 150 full-time posts.”

Chief executive of the passport office, Paul Pugh, told MPs he would like to “apologise dearly” for the backlog of applications, at the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday.

But the apology was not enough for Mr Flynn, who said: “I think there would be great satisfaction from the many people who have been badly treated by this government and by Mr Pugh, if he did resign.

“It’ll certainly please them and it will be no loss to the country.”

Mr Flynn said he had been representing passport workers since 1972 and knows the service well.

He said: “Newport passport office was closed in 2011. It’s nonsense to say it didn’t lead to this crisis. Of course it’s important that the closures that were made then have lead to this crisis. There would be 150 trained people there who would be working to keep this backlog down if it hadn’t been closed.

“The government have a duty, when they start to restore the emaciated passport service that’s left, that they look to put the jobs back from the areas they were so cruelly torn away in 2011.”

Ms Morden said: “I don’t understand why the current delays have come as a surprise to the Home Office, the signs have been there for years, but they persisting on pursuing the cuts.

“These staff who have warned repeatedly over the past four years that cuts to services would affect customers, have been proved right.

“The government, as they try and solve this problem, should look to put those 150 jobs that we lost in Newport back in. We’ve got the space, we’ve got the experience.”

Mr Flynn added: “The whole crisis was predicted and predictable. There’s a refusal to take responsibility, to take blame. The people of Newport remember (2011) and I’m sure they will remember that next year.

“This foul-up will become one of the signature foul-ups of this government.”

Comments (12)

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5:41pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Woodgnome says...

Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is. Woodgnome
  • Score: 3

9:38pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Apologies, as slightly off-topic; but what are our local MPs doing to ensure that the fe/male gender category that is required for anyone wanting a passport is extended to include people applying for a passport who identify outside of the gender binary? Just sayin';)
Apologies, as slightly off-topic; but what are our local MPs doing to ensure that the fe/male gender category that is required for anyone wanting a passport is extended to include people applying for a passport who identify outside of the gender binary? Just sayin';) Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -5

11:25pm Wed 18 Jun 14

BassalegCountyFan says...

Woodgnome wrote:
Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles?

It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well.

As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.[/p][/quote]I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles? It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well. As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government. BassalegCountyFan
  • Score: 8

11:51pm Wed 18 Jun 14

scraptheWAG says...

BassalegCountyFan wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles?

It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well.

As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.
mmm those two have done very little for this city
[quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.[/p][/quote]I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles? It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well. As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.[/p][/quote]mmm those two have done very little for this city scraptheWAG
  • Score: -1

12:32am Thu 19 Jun 14

displayed says...

NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn today called for the resignation of Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh, saying his going would be "no loss to the country.”

Much as I dont support Paul Flynn, on this issue, I'm inclined to agree!
NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn today called for the resignation of Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh, saying his going would be "no loss to the country.” Much as I dont support Paul Flynn, on this issue, I'm inclined to agree! displayed
  • Score: 3

6:48am Thu 19 Jun 14

davidcp says...

PF as an MP is entitled to suggest a resignation is called for if he feels that way, but the additional comment is just rude and a demonstration of his arrogance.
PF as an MP is entitled to suggest a resignation is called for if he feels that way, but the additional comment is just rude and a demonstration of his arrogance. davidcp
  • Score: 0

10:27am Thu 19 Jun 14

Good Job No Kids says...

NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn today called for the resignation of Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh, saying his going would be "no loss to the country.”

People in Glass Houses and all that.
NEWPORT MP Paul Flynn today called for the resignation of Passport Office chief, Paul Pugh, saying his going would be "no loss to the country.” People in Glass Houses and all that. Good Job No Kids
  • Score: -3

10:28am Thu 19 Jun 14

Good Job No Kids says...

BassalegCountyFan wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles?

It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well.

As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.
So it's not classic labour jump on the bandwagon to publicise yourself then?
[quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.[/p][/quote]I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles? It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well. As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.[/p][/quote]So it's not classic labour jump on the bandwagon to publicise yourself then? Good Job No Kids
  • Score: 2

11:29am Thu 19 Jun 14

Severn40 says...

One of the what-ifs which we will never know is that the review of the passport offices was commissioned by the last Labour Government. Had Labour won in 2010, would they have done exactly the same? All we know is that 90% of the cuts by the current Government would have been undertaken by Labour.

The 2010 election was nothing but good news for Labour as they didn't have to live with the consequences of their years in government or allowing the banks, power companies etc free reign to cause havoc. Wonderful for the careerists and time servers in Labour as they can airbrush their legacy out of history.
One of the what-ifs which we will never know is that the review of the passport offices was commissioned by the last Labour Government. Had Labour won in 2010, would they have done exactly the same? All we know is that 90% of the cuts by the current Government would have been undertaken by Labour. The 2010 election was nothing but good news for Labour as they didn't have to live with the consequences of their years in government or allowing the banks, power companies etc free reign to cause havoc. Wonderful for the careerists and time servers in Labour as they can airbrush their legacy out of history. Severn40
  • Score: 2

12:37pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Cymru Am Beth says...

Severn40 wrote:
One of the what-ifs which we will never know is that the review of the passport offices was commissioned by the last Labour Government. Had Labour won in 2010, would they have done exactly the same? All we know is that 90% of the cuts by the current Government would have been undertaken by Labour.

The 2010 election was nothing but good news for Labour as they didn't have to live with the consequences of their years in government or allowing the banks, power companies etc free reign to cause havoc. Wonderful for the careerists and time servers in Labour as they can airbrush their legacy out of history.
I Think that Margaret Thatcher was to blame for this?
[quote][p][bold]Severn40[/bold] wrote: One of the what-ifs which we will never know is that the review of the passport offices was commissioned by the last Labour Government. Had Labour won in 2010, would they have done exactly the same? All we know is that 90% of the cuts by the current Government would have been undertaken by Labour. The 2010 election was nothing but good news for Labour as they didn't have to live with the consequences of their years in government or allowing the banks, power companies etc free reign to cause havoc. Wonderful for the careerists and time servers in Labour as they can airbrush their legacy out of history.[/p][/quote]I Think that Margaret Thatcher was to blame for this? Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: -1

3:20pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Woodgnome says...

BassalegCountyFan wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles?

It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well.

As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.
Are you Paul's Flynn agent by any chance - you are certainly an apologist for him?
[quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.[/p][/quote]I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles? It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well. As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.[/p][/quote]Are you Paul's Flynn agent by any chance - you are certainly an apologist for him? Woodgnome
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BassalegCountyFan says...

Woodgnome wrote:
BassalegCountyFan wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
Paul - you are so wise.
Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.
I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles?

It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well.

As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.
Are you Paul's Flynn agent by any chance - you are certainly an apologist for him?
Nope Woodgnome but I think that in this era when people are so sceptical of politics, it's important that when MPs - whatever their political persuasion - do the right things for constituents (ie.defending local jobs) it should be acknowledged.

I was simply saying that as a Newport West constituent and Labour voter I'm pleased that our MP has done this, and it's a shame that the government response has been so inadequate.They should be the ones apologising, or even better, reconsdering their actions on the passport office in Newport.

Agree to disagree though, each to their own.
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BassalegCountyFan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Paul - you are so wise. Please go on a long holiday - if you can get a passport that is.[/p][/quote]I don't understand Woodgnome, forgive me if I'm wrong, are you now criticising Paul Flynn for standing up for his constituents and campaigning on an important issue that affects people not just in Newport and South Wales but across the border - i.e. the fact that an efficient and important regional passport office was closed by this government (with a loss of much-needed local jobs in the process) and that the likes of Theresa May and Andrew Lansley are flatly refusing to acknowledge any link between cuts to crucial offices (like the ones in Newport and Glasgow) and the current passport omnishambles? It's MP's job to raise these issues on behalf of those they represent, and whatever your politics you can't deny that Paul Flynn and Jessica Morden have done this very well. As a Newport resident I'm glad that we have MPs like Mr Flynn and Ms Morden who have both taken a firm stance on an issue that affects so many people in our City and beyond, and like the vast majority of others in the area I'm firmly on their side on this rather than the side of this inept Tory government.[/p][/quote]Are you Paul's Flynn agent by any chance - you are certainly an apologist for him?[/p][/quote]Nope Woodgnome but I think that in this era when people are so sceptical of politics, it's important that when MPs - whatever their political persuasion - do the right things for constituents (ie.defending local jobs) it should be acknowledged. I was simply saying that as a Newport West constituent and Labour voter I'm pleased that our MP has done this, and it's a shame that the government response has been so inadequate.They should be the ones apologising, or even better, reconsdering their actions on the passport office in Newport. Agree to disagree though, each to their own. BassalegCountyFan
  • Score: 0

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