Angry collectors, who last week started to recover five million outstanding forms, were due to continue their final door-to-door visits. But many were refusing to work unless they got their wages, bringing further chaos to the 20-page survey operation.
The latest blow to the census comes as the validity of some forms was thrown into doubt. It has been revealed that the confidential handbook for census team leaders states that only forms that come back blank or with one of three basic questions - on sex, date of birth and marital status - missing, should be seen as incomplete. Compulsory information on health, education, religion, emplyment and ethnic origins would, therefore, have been left out.