Hope you are enjoying the Jubilee Bank Holiday and that you are all taking some well-earned time off.

For Her Majesty the Queen, 70 years on the throne is a long time and I wish her more to come.

My role as an MP may seem detached from everyday reality: debates, parliamentary questions and votes.

Above all, I am here to represent my constituents and support them however I can.

Casework is perhaps the most crucial aspect.

In recent months, three issues have been filling my inbox: passports, driving licences and visa applications. In each case, the government’s response has been atrocious.

Constituents have said that the passport office is not actioning their applications, and there’s talk of huge queues in Liverpool.

People are travelling to Belfast and Durham for one – only to be turned away despite assurances.

What’s more, as the humanitarian situation deteriorated in Afghanistan and Ukraine, we saw a large increase in visa and asylum requests.

My office received hundreds of emails from family members in the UK pleading with the Home Office to give their family members refuge.

I also had a large amount of correspondence from families in Bolton seeking to take in refugees – only for the Home Office to refuse visas.

To worsen matters, there are currently 742,000 outstanding driving license applications. This figure has been increasing in the last year, rather than decreasing.

There are two very obvious reasons for all of this: austerity, and the government’s failure to plan ahead.

In real-term spending, the Home Office budget has decreased by 25 per cent.

These cuts have had a direct impact on the capability of passport offices.

For the DVLA and the response to the refugee crises, it was a failure to see two steps ahead, increase resources in the short-term, and manage the backlog.

When I was elected in 2010, the British people were told that austerity was an economic necessity, to "fix the roof". 

We were told that only a Conservative-led government had the answers to the biggest questions, "the grown-ups" in the room.

Yet, 12 years on, the evidence shows austerity was a political choice.

With the government in turmoil, it is clear to see that only Labour can offer an alternative.