Britain's most tattooed man refused passport renewal

But the decision was made on the grounds of his unusual name rather than his inkings

Britain’s most heavily tattooed man has been denied a passport – but the decision has nothing to do with his extreme body art.

King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite has instead been refused the ID renewal on the grounds that his name is not appropriate.

The 34-year-old, previously known as Mathew Whelan, adopted the moniker by deed poll four years ago.

"This is a breach of my human rights," said the Lib Demo activist from Birmingham. "They want to put my birth name on my passport. But that is not my name any more."

The Passport Office refused to issue the document for Body Art, as he is known for short – despite the fact that his new name already appears on his driving licence.

Body Art has spent more than £25,000 covering his skin in tattoos, including the whites of his eyeballs.

He was planning to travel overseas, where he had been offered work doing body modification.

But despite filling out the relevant forms and sending the £72.50 fee, Body Art received a letter from the Passport Office on 15 January, which said that they were sticking to policy and were refusing to issue a passport because of his unusual name.

The government agency told the Birmingham Mail that a policy section regarding "strings of words or phrases" meant his name was not admissible.

The section reads: "Where an applicant changes his or her name to a string of words or phrases that would not normally be recognised as a name, this should not be entered on to the personal details page of the passport."

Body Art has now sent an official letter of complaint to the Passport Office and is awaiting a reply.

Local MP John Hemming has also voiced his support and has written asking for clarification.

"Obviously there do need to be limits on what names are acceptable for public documents but these limits should be consistent and the policy as to what is acceptable should be clear," he said.

"I have written to the passport agency to see why they take a different view to the DVLA."


Watch the King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite get yet another tattoo in 2011

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam