A mum enduring a 15-week wait for her daughter’s new passport faces missing her sister’s wedding in Italy.
Business owner Beth Morrison, who lives in Dumfries and Galloway, is planning to travel to Monopoli, in the south, with her nine-year-old girl, Emily Anderson, and partner on August 25 to see her sister tie the knot.
But the Passport Office has warned the mum that she may have to cancel their trip as it’s not known when the document will arrive.
Beth, 40, told STV News: “We’re really disappointed. It appears they have no compassion, it’s like it or lump it.
“We’ve not taken a summer holiday because we were looking forward to this, our first holiday since before Covid. It’s so frustrating.
“No one takes ownership. We’re told there are no guarantees if we escalate it.”
Beth said the whole family would be reuniting for the first time since the pandemic began, with Emily excited to meet her new step-cousins for the first time.
She added: “Emily keeps saying she is really looking forward to going over, and asking what will happen if she can’t go. I told her I wouldn’t go without her.
“She’s not feeling great, but she’s a tough wee cookie and not saying much, she’s trying to stay positive.”
Beth applied for a new passport for Emily on April 28 after her old one was misplaced.
Officials later requested the girl’s birth certificate, which they confirmed had been received on June 24.
The mum, who plans to drive to the destination over three days with stops along the way, has held off on booking accommodation and a ferry – although they have already booked their £2000 villa.
She said: “Sometimes it’s just not possible to hold off on booking things. Given the circumstances, we thought we had so much time [to get the passport].
“I run my own business and when I’m not there, there’s no money being made. I have to rush about. That’s the decision I’m having to make next week, do I cancel and fill in that time?
“The Passport Office just see it as a case of, ‘this is what it is, deal with it’. It’s such an important service and it’s being run like this.
“So many plans were affected so much by Covid you feel like you’re getting out of it then you’re hit with something else.”
A HMPO spokesperson said: “We apologise for the delay in issuing this passport.
“For the small percentage of customers whose applications take longer than ten weeks, there is an expedited service at no additional cost to help ensure that they receive their passport ahead of their travel.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country