A cellist who played at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding has been left without a British passport after it was cancelled by the Home Office when he tried to apply for a second one.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won the BBC’s Young Musician award in 2016, had applied for a second passport to assist with visa applications and international work permits.
But last Thursday the Nottingham-born musician discovered the Home Office had cancelled his original passport with “no explanation” provided.
Seeking help, please @pritipatel @OliverDowden @ukhomeoffice I applied for additional British passport to assist with visas and work permit applications, instead received in date original back, cancelled, 10th June. NO explanation, NO assistance and now NO passport at all... pic.twitter.com/rN94iOyISm
— Sheku Kanneh-Mason (@ShekuKM) June 16, 2021
This is despite his sister Isata Kanneh-Mason, an award-winning pianist, submitting the same paperwork 15 minutes apart and receiving both the original and second passport within a week.
Kanneh-Mason wrote in a Facebook post: “Despite constant calls I have no explanation, no forthcoming assistance and no way of playing the engagements I am contracted to play. Ideas appreciated asap please."
The musician has called on the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, to provide an explanation.
Kanneh-Mason became the first black musician to win the BBC award since the competition's launch in 1978.
He plays an Amati cello made in the early 1600s.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We apologise to Mr Kanneh-Mason for any inconvenience caused as a result of this incident, which was due to human error. We have now issued him with a replacement passport."