THE Barrow MP 'welcomed' the government's decision to cut down migrant hotels - but it is unclear if the town will be among the first to stop housing asylum seekers. 

The Home Office announced on Tuesday that the first 50 hotels across the UK will stop housing asylum seekers by the end of January next year. 

Simon Fell said that he 'did not know at this stage' if hotels in Barrow would be in this first 50. The Home Office does not comment on individual hotels. 

Asylum seekers were placed in the Majestic and Imperial hotels in Barrow after the Taliban took charge in Afghanistan in August 2021. 

Since then, the town has had visits from far-right groups such as Patriotic Alternative. The group held banners outside the hotels in December last year and delivered leaflets to Furness homes. 

READ MORE: Far-right group Patrioric Alternative protest in Barrow

Mr Fell said: "This is a very welcome move. The attention that the prime minister has given this issue is clearly paying off. Crossings are down by a fifth, returns are up by 75 per cent and for countries like Albania where agreements are in place, journeys are down by over 90 per cent.

"Reducing the use of hotels is the consequence of this, and I'm optimistic that we will see a further reduction in the coming months as the prime minister's plan continues to work." 

The neighbouring Copeland MP Trudy Harrison told ITV Border that the Waverley Hotel in Whitehaven would be among the first hotels to stop housing asylum seekers. 

The Home Office said initial efforts will focus on hotels that can be exited quickly. Asylum seekers currently in these hotels will be moving to places such as the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland Port, Dorset. 

It confirmed that small boat crossings are down by more than 20 per cent compared to this point in 2022. 

The immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: "Taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the eye-watering bill for the use of hotels to accommodate individuals making illegal, dangerous and wholly unnecessary small boat crossings.  

"Our strategy to stop the boats is making progress. With small boat arrivals down more than 20 per cent compared with last year, we can now start to restore these hotels to their rightful use for local communities.

"We remain absolutely determined, through the implementation of the Illegal Migration Act and our Rwanda Partnership, to dismantle the smuggling gangs’ business models and stop the boats entirely.”

On the Home Office website, it states that asylum hotels were 'only ever a temporary measure' in response to a spike in small boat arrivals and 'the statutory requirement to accommodate asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute.'