A UK HOTEL has been heavily criticised after it cancelled a charity's booking to get several local homeless people off the streets over Christmas.
Raise The Roof Homeless Project in Hull had organised accommodation for 28 rough sleepers at the city's Britannia Royal Hotel on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Organiser Carl Simpson said he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the hotel as a goodwill gesture for the homeless.
But he was left "absolutely gutted and very angry" after receiving a call from the hotel's manager informing him that the booking had been cancelled, with "no reason" given.
"We told them up front they were for homeless people. They were fine with that," Mr Simpson, a local cafe owner who runs the charity, told the BBC.
"I asked for a reason and was told there isn’t one. In my eyes this is nothing more than discrimination, especially after we were so open about what it was for."
Mr Simpson, 50, posted news of the decision on Facebook, where it prompted outrage and was shared by more than 1,000 people.
Some users called for an outright boycott of the Grade II-listed Victorian hotel, while others said they were "disgusted" and "appalled".
Since the post went up on Saturday, online fundraising for the project has received a £6,000 boost.
"That's amazing. We just need the rooms now," continued Mr Simpson.
"Christmas is the lowest point of the year for the homeless, you see suicides increase. Last year we did not have any deaths in Hull."
The generous philanthropist said he had been hoping to "repeat the success of last Christmas" when he booked 28 homeless people into an Ibis hotel for two nights.
He added: "After the stay they were so grateful. Some left staff gifts using the very little money they had, and one asked if he could vacuum the rooms to show his appreciation.
"This means the world to homeless people. Last year we had tears of joy from someone who stood on the edge of the Humber Bridge the night before. We have to break the news to people that the hotel has been cancelled".
Asked what he hoped would happen next, Mr Simpson said: "If Britannia could change their minds, or if another hotel could come forward."
The Irish Post has contacted the Britannia Royal Hotel in Hull for comment.