Children's Passport Photos - success
Lib Dem Leadership Contender John Hemming MP today claimed a major success in his campaign to simplify passport photograph rules.
I am pleased that following my questions on the bureaucratic nightmare of the new passport photographs that the government are starting to see sense.
The most stupid rule was to require babies to keep their eyes open and mouth closed. Between 12th September and 27th November 15,441 child passport applications were rejected because of the new photo rules for children aged 5 and under.
I started asking questions about this in early autumn and the government changed the rules (which they revealed in a written question dated 9th Jan). Now photographs of children five years and under will be accepted if they show the child smiling or frowning, with their mouth open, their eyes looking away from the camera and reflection or glare on their glasses. Babies under one year do not now need to have their eyes open.
I have heard of one person who sent 20 photographs to try to get a passport for their child. Another person who has spoken to me had the application rejected because the father was holding the baby. I am still not sure that if someone's hand appears in the picture the photo will be rejected and will be harrying the government further on this.
This is a victory for common sense. It is a good reason why the Liberal Democrats should be the party campaigning for government to serve the people rather than people serve the government - which is one of my slogans in the Lib Dem Leadership contest.