DUDLEY North MP Marco Longhi has defended his controversial stance on asylum seekers after facing calls to resign.

The Conservative politician told the House of Commons on Thursday, May 9 that he had instructed his constituency office not to deal with ‘so-called’ asylum seekers and had stopped them from attending his surgeries.

The remarks prompted calls of ‘shameful’ and ‘resign’ from Labour MPs, local members of the party and members of the public on social media.

Dudley Labour councillor Cat Eccles said on X: “You’re there to help all your constituents, not pick and choose” while Kate Joester said: “Asylum seeker is a legal status: they are not ‘so-called’. If they live in your constituency, they’re your constituents. Do your job”.

Mr Longhi, however, was unrepentant. Also on X he said: “I will NEVER be ashamed  to put Dudley people first, in fact I take great pride in doing so.”

He said members of Parliament had no authority or mandate over Home Office decisions and MPs had limited resources.

While much of the reaction to Mr Longhi’s post on X was negative, he did have some supporters.

L J Richards said: “Well done Marco, it’s about time our MPs stood up proudly for British values” and David James said: “If only more MPs prioritised British people and put them first! Good to know there’s a few proper Conservatives on the backbenches”.

Labour’s most senior councillor who represents a ward in Mr Longhi’s constituency is finance spokesman Coun Shaukat Ali from St Thomas’s.

Coun Ali said: “It is important people coming for help are supported and referred to appropriate agencies where possible.

“Whether it is immigration or any other matter, people are really stressed and the last thing we want to do is say we can’t help.

“The MP and his office should be helping people, if he is not maybe he should consider leaving before the general election.”

Mr Longhi has yet to respond to a request from the Local Democracy Reporting Service for further comment.