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Officials deny relaxation of passport fraud checks claim

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS have stepped in to overturn a leaked memo from the passport offices instructing workers to ‘relax’ particular security measures.

The leaked document made public by The Guardian shows security checks that would typically be carried out were to be relaxed on some 30,000 applications for British passports from abroad.

Workers were instructed by the Passport Office’s policy teams to abandon checks on counter signatories and on the requirement for evidence of addresses and letters of confirmation from employers.

The document explains: "It has been agreed that, where an applicant provides an alternative address, a separate 'disclaimer' and evidence of a link to that address will no longer be mandatory if there are no other concerns or fraud indicators”.

Following this, the Home Office released a statement insisting that ministers had no knowledge of such plans and immediately ordered a reversal on the instructions.

A spokesman said: "Ministers were unaware of this document and have instructed HM Passport Office to withdraw it immediately."

Home Secretary Theresa May today (June 12) appeared before the Commons while interim chief executive officer Paul Pugh remains insistent that there is no back log.

Other actions brought in to place have included an additional 100 members of staff in an attempt to clear the backlog.

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