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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 17:37 GMT
Fury over 'naked baby' passport
Tracey Barnes condemned the move as 'political correctness'
The mother of a nine month-old boy says she was told his bare-chested passport photo was "offensive".

Tracey Barnes, of Claverham, Somerset, claims passport chiefs said the picture would offend people in "fanatical religious countries".

A professional photographer took the pictures for a family holiday later this year to Crete.

The Home Office said an error was made with the application and it had no policy on bare chests in such photos.

Ms Barnes said: "I couldn't believe it. Lewis is a nine-month-old baby boy and the picture is not offensive."

'Political correctness'

Mrs Barnes said was shocked when she received a reply from the passport office she sent the application to, telling her the pictures were unsuitable because the baby was undressed.

She explained that Lewis was sick prior to the shoot in January and his top had to be removed for the pictures.

She claims she rang the passport inquiries line where she was told by an operator that the picture of Lewis, which cost 22, would be seen as offensive in some parts of the world.

"When I spoke to the passport office one man told me that the pictures would be offensive to people in fanatical religious countries.

"This sort of political correctness will only serve to stir up racial tensions, it's just stupid."

Mrs Barnes has now had pictures of her son re-shot at a further cost of 28.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "It appears that in this case an error was made by the official dealing with the application.

"There is no official passport policy relating to displaying bare chests on passport photographs as UK Passport Service require a photograph to show head and shoulders only."

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