Speaking in a press statement, Mr Pugh said: “We have been experiencing exceptional early-summer demand for passports, in part due to the improving economy and a rise in holiday bookings.

There is no backlog – over 99% of straightforward applications have been processed within four weeks.”

However, photos leaked to the press this week of overflowing boxes of files suggest otherwise. Their orange covers suggest that they are overseas applications from expats or new passport holders.

Many people who have ordered new passports have been waiting over two months or longer; the Home Office states that six weeks is the normal waiting time.

If you’re still waiting for your passport, call 0300 222 00 00, quoting the barcode number of your application, or check the Passport Office website.

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