Asylum seekers were left distressed after they were allegedly sent an untranslated letter from the Home Office telling them they would be kicked out of a South London hotel, a Labour MP has claimed.

Around 300 people living at Pentland House in Lewisham, including pregnant women, modern slavery and sexual abuse victims, as well as the ill and elderly, received a letter in July from the government telling them they would be moved, Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East said. 

According to Daby, Pentland House is expected to stop being used as accommodation for asylum seekers by the end of the month.

But the Labour MP has demanded the Home Office halts the transfer of asylum seekers from Pentland House until “the local community is assured that no one will be adversely impacted.

“I am very concerned with the Home Office’s management of this process. Local organisations in Lewisham East as well as stakeholders and people whom I have been talking to are equally as troubled,” Daby said.

She added: “Not only have residents not been properly told what will happen to them in their principal language, but it appears the assessment of pregnant women and vulnerable people has not been considered appropriately.

“It is also likely that children will be taken from their schools with no chance to say goodbye to their fellow pupils and teachers, causing increased trauma and anxiety.”

Daby has also written a letter to home secretary Suella Braverman asking for information about where asylum seekers living in the hotel will be moved, as well as assurances that families will be kept together, nobody will be made homeless and people with ties to Lewisham won’t be moved out of the local area.

Daby also asked for confirmation that assessments of vulnerable people have been made by the Home Office or the accommodation provider, Clearsprings Ready Homes, after community and refugee groups raised concerns they had instead been carried out by staff directly employed by the hotel. 

In March, Sophie Wickham from local asylum charity AFRIL told a Lewisham Council committee that she had met families staying in Pentland House and another asylum hotel in the borough who had been there for up to 18 months, despite the accommodation not being suitable for long-term stays. 

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain.

"We have been clear that the use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £6 million a day.

"The Home Office is committed to making every effort to reduce hotel use and limit the burden on the taxpayer.”