Mother almost forced to abandon dream wedding after son's passport was delayed

A ten-year-old boy was nearly forced to miss his mother's wedding when his passport failed to arrive.

Olivia Diamond, of Lower Edmonton, was facing the prospect of her dream Italian wedding without her son, Alex, being present as an unprecedented backlog of passport applications meant his own documents were delayed.

Despite applying more than a month in advance before her wedding, Ms Diamond only received her son’s passport 48 hours before heading off to Turin.

She said: "I applied for my son’s passport on May 12, and they told me it should only take two or three weeks.

"I left it over three weeks before calling back but to no avail. It just became my worst nightmare and I decided to turn to my local MP Andy Love to seek help."

Facing the trauma of not having her son, who was meant to give her away, at the wedding, Ms Diamond claims it took numerous calls and faxes before finally, the passport arrived.

Ms Diamond added: "It is absolutely ridiculous that it could take this long to get my son's passport and eventually I had to pay £73 to get the passport quicker.

"But I told them I would cut off my right arm to make sure my son was there to give me away. I would have still attended the wedding in body but my head would have been thinking of my son and what is meant to be the happiest day of my life would have been completely different."

Ms Diamond set off for her wedding on Monday and the wedding taking place this weekend.

Edmonton MP Andy Love, who helped Ms Diamond get her passport in time, has voted in favour of a motion calling on the government to provide a refund to his constituents who have had to pay additional fees to have their passport applications passed through.

Mr Love said: "It’s a shame that the Home Secretary spent weeks burying her head in the sand refusing to admit that there was a problem, let alone taking action to deal with it. To think the passport office has actually made money out of this situation adds insult to injury.

"It’s been such a worrying time for an increasing number of constituents. One local resident risked having to cancel her wedding in Italy because her son – who is due to give her away - had his passport delayed.

"The Government must now accept responsibility, apologise and offer compensation to the thousands of people, including my constituents, who had to endure unnecessary stress and pay more for a basic service through no fault of their own."

Last week the Home Office introduced a raft of new procedures to deal with the backlog.

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