A NEWPORT MP has urged the UK Government to "get a grip" on its running of the Passport Office, which has for weeks been plagued by delays and fuelled wider travel chaos.

One Newport resident was forced to travel to Glasgow and London for appointments - despite there being a Passport Office branch in the city itself, just miles from their home - while another person's new passport ended up in Northern Ireland after a clerical error.

Jessica Morden said it was the government, not Passport Office staff, at fault for the "current problems we are seeing" as would-be holidaymakers wait in limbo for their new documents to arrive.

The Newport East MP said she had been "inundated" with messages from constituents who are "nervous and distressed while waiting to hear back on the status of their passport applications".

In the spring, the UK Government encouraged people to apply at least 10 weeks before their new passports were needed, but Ms Morden said this turnaround target had "in many cases... been totally missed" by the Home Office-run agency.

She told the House of Commons about "desperate" Newport residents who feared they would miss out on their holidays - and potentially lose a lot of money - because their new passports wouldn't arrive in time.

South Wales Argus: People queuing outside the Passport Office in Newport, June 1, 2022.People queuing outside the Passport Office in Newport, June 1, 2022.

"The growing backlog has also led to errors," she added. "One constituent had their personal documents sent to someone in Northern Ireland with the same name, and were very fortunate that that person reached out to them online.

"Their supporting documentation was sent back to the Passport Office, but has still not been returned to my constituent several weeks later.

"Another constituent has been bounced between appointments in Newport, Glasgow and London. It is a shambles, and a costly one. He tells me that he is now over £350 out of pocket on travel and passport fees."

Other Newport residents "have spent five hours on the phone chasing up the status of their application" or were "promised call backs that never happen".

Some had taken time off work "to try to resolve the logjam they find themselves in through no fault of their own".

And others had had to start "trying to console their children about whether their holiday is still happening" because their new passports had not arrived.

Ms Morden called the problem "as preventable as it was predictable, and the buck stops with the Home Office".

But a Labour motion to make Home Office minister Kevin Foster apologise over the backlog was defeated in the Commons by 295 votes to 198.

Mr Foster accused Labour of trying to “have a pop” at him because it had “no alternative to what we have done already”, however he did not answer repeated requests from the opposition to reveal the size of the passport backlog.