A NEWLYWED was shocked to be issued with a passport with the wrong woman’s photograph – just six weeks before she is due to jet off on holiday.
Teacher and former Westmorland Gazette reporter, Natalie Peel nee Stewart, fears she may have to cancel her trip to Spain following the Passport Office gaffe.
Natalie, who now lives in Bacup, East Lancs, sent off her passport for renewal and a name change at the beginning of June after getting married.
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But when it was returned she was amazed to discover another woman pictured alongside her name and other personal details.
She is now facing a race against time to get the error corrected.
Natalie, 27, said: “It’s disgraceful, especially when you put a certain amount of trust in the Government. I didn’t even think twice about sending my details to them. I sent my details in confidence and I expect them to be handled securely. God knows where my picture has ended up.”
Natalie, a primary school teacher in Rochdale, sent her passport, marriage certificate and two photographs through to the Post Office passport checking service to ensure her details were received corr-ectly.
She said: “When I got it back and realised, I was furious. At first I thought they had sent me an example passport to show what the new one would look like. It was ridiculous to think they had attached the wrong picture.”
When Natalie, who was born in Burnley, complained she was initially advised to visit the passport offices in Liverpool to rectify the error.
She said: “At first they said I would need to bring the passport to Liverpool between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. I work full time so that’s not possible. There was no apology.”
A HM Passport Office spokesman said an immediate investigation had been launched.
He said: “We are making contact with Ms Peel to ensure that a replacement passport is issued in time for her to go on holiday.”