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A pensioner has railed against officials after he failed three separate times to get a passport so he could go abroad for the first time.

Arthur Wilkinson, 75, says he only has three years to live and planned to visit France with his son next month for his first ever trip out of the country.

However, Mr Wilkinson, of Leonard Davis House, North Weald, has not been able to get his dream holiday off the ground due to struggles obtaining a passport.

The former Middlesex youth cricket coach has seen his application turned down three times after the Passport Office rejected sets of photographs taken professionally.

Mr Wilkinson said: “I have got about three years to live and I told my son that I wanted to go abroad for the first time before I die.

“I said he would rent a motorhome and he will drive me to France, it would be out of this world if I could get the passport and go on holiday, I just need the passport to get things moving.

“I have had three sets of photographs taken professionally, it has cost me £30 in total, which is a lot of money to me.

“I do not know why they keep doing this, I think they are just being pedantic about it.”

Mr Wilkinson, who is partially disabled and suffers from pseudogout, a type of arthritis, as well as several other conditions, has also had problems trying to attend a passport interview.

Adults applying for a passport for the first time are required to attend an interview with the Passport Office to confirm their identity, a trip Mr Wilkinson says he cannot make due to his disability.

The interview can be waived if a doctor provides a letter explaining the applicant’s disability, but the pensioner has been unable to get hold of a note.

His family are unable to take him to the interview as they live in Norfolk.

The Home Office said the three sets of photographs supplied by Mr Wilkinson were not suitable for use in a passport.

A spokesman added: “Adults applying for their first ever passport must attend an interview in order to establish their identity.

"Our passport offices are designed to meet the highest standards of accessibility, and guidance to support those individuals who may have difficulties with the application process is available online."