BORIS Johnson has threatened to “privatise the arse” off the Passport Office as millions of Brits face a summer of chaos.
In a Cabinet rant yesterday, the PM accused vast swathes of the public sector of post-Covid “work from home” malaise — with no desire to fix pandemic problems.
The Home Office-run quango has been hit by 9.5 million people trying to renew their passports this year amid a massive lockdown backlog.
Some have been waiting for more than 10 weeks for the documents back, with holidays ruined and flights missed.
Last night the PM told TalkTV privatisation for any failing public sector body was on the table.
In an exclusive interview with presenter Tom Newton Dunn, BoJo said: “I don’t care whether an institution is in the public or the private sector, I just want it to deliver value and a good service… I don’t rule anything out.”
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“We all got used to working from home, and to zoom calls thinking that we could do business like that”
But he cautioned: “Is it as productive, when I see institutions not delivering things like passports or driving licences in a speedy way?”
He added Brits “deserve to have cheaper, faster service.”
Earlier Mr Johnson had summoned his top team to discuss how to tackle the cost of living, but a summer of travel chaos was also on the agenda.
The PM said he was “horrified” by the scale of the groaning backlog and will haul in bosses to bang heads together and stop treating fixing Covid woes as a “tomorrow” problem.
And he threatened to call in an army of private contractors to add more manpower.
No10 added: “This is a serious issue facing families and one that needs to be gripped.
Airline chiefs are already bracing Brits for a summer of travel chaos because of a lack of border staff to conduct checks and now passport delays.
Last night Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said it was vital the Passport Office turned things around.
“If it’s not resolved, it is going to mean that people can’t get away,” he warned.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday vowed to lean on industry chiefs to iron out the problems.
He told Times Radio: “We need to get reliability back into the system again.”
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