A Walthamstow family's first holiday abroad together could be cancelled following a suspected 'computer error' at the beleagured Passport Office. 

James Mackay, 43, and his wife Jessica, of Northbank Road, are due to fly to Portugal with their two sons and extended family members on August 19. 

The parents applied to renew their passports with first-time applications for Max, five, and eight-month-old Rory at the Wood Street Post Office branch in May. 

A month later, the couple and Rory received their passports, but no passport arrived for Max.

Instead, they received a letter from the Passport Office in Peterborough stating Max "appears to have a claim to British citizenship" supported by a 0300 telephone number to discuss the application. 

Mr Mackay, a fishery business owner, says he has spent the last four weeks trying to speak to the Passport Office. 

He said: "We've had the most unbelievable experience at the Passport Office. 

"My wife and I have lived in the UK since birth. We couldn't be more British - it must be a computer error. 

"It's been absolutely horrible and as it stands today, one of us will have to stay at home with Max if it is not resolved. 

"Max has never been abroad or stepped one foot on an aeroplane. He won't stop crying." 

 Mr Mackay says every time he calls the 0300 passport advice line, he is either promised a call back within 48 hours from the Passport Office, or is put on hold for 30 minutes and then the line disconnects. 

He added: "If they make a promise to call back, they should honour it. It's like trying to break through an impenetrable wall. It is a bloody shambles."  

The ten-day holiday was booked by Mr Mackay's father and will be the first time his family have holidayed abroad together in over a decade.

Mr Mackay has turned to MP Stella Creasy to intervene in the matter, and has praised Ms Creasy for her quick response over the last 24 hours.  

The Home Office has been contacted for a comment. 

The Passport Office has been struggling to deal with a large backlog due, it claims, to unusually high demand. 

For more on this story see this week's Waltham Forest Guardian - out Thursday.