HOME Office calls to house asylum seekers in a landmark Workington hotel have been halted after the MP stepped in.

The Cumberland Hotel on Station Road had been earmarked for housing asylum seekers, with the Home Office and Serco set to manage the site.

But the controversial plans have now been paused after Workington MP Mark Jenkinson intervened, with concerns that the deprived ward would not be a suitable location.

Estate agent Colliers has confirmed that the hotel is currently under offer after being put on the market earlier this year.

READ MORE: Asylum seekers protest living conditions at Hilltop Hotel in Carlisle

It has previously been used as a bail hostel and was part of the ‘Everyone In’ campaign - the UK's national response to supporting the homeless during lockdown.

Mr Jenkinson said: “I was in touch with the Home Office when they told me they intended to use The Cumberland. I have written to the police since, setting out some of my concerns.

“Many of my constituents in that ward, which is one of the most deprived wards in the country, have suffered greatly from anti-social behaviour.

“We have also had refugees that have moved out of my constituency because the county council and police were unable to provide them the assurances that they needed that they could keep them safe.

“Just a few years ago, I lived within 100 yards of that hotel for over a decade. Given extensive knowledge and experience, I don’t believe either the county council or Cumbria Police can provide the assurance required by the asylum seekers themselves and the local residents that they can maintain order and provide the services that both of those groups need.

READ MORE: Asylum seekers move into the Waverley Hotel in Whitehaven after 'traumatic' experiences

“We have seen significant investment from the Home Office for the St Michael’s ward through the Safer Streets Fund and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and I will not allow unelected officials in the Home Office who were overruling ministers, to put that at risk.”

The Cumberland Hotel would be the second hotel in west Cumbria to be used as accommodation for asylum seekers – and the fourth in Cumbria.

The Waverley Hotel in Whitehaven is now housing between 29 and 34 asylum seekers after being sold, in a deal between the new hotel owners and Serco.

Asylum seekers are also being housed at The Hilltop Hotel in Carlisle and The Majestic in Barrow.

READ MORE: The Waverley Hotel in Whitehaven set to house asylum seekers after being sold