A man in his 30s has been arrested in Blackburn on suspicion of trying to sell UK residency to an asylum seeker living in Northern Ireland.

It follows allegations an individual working for the Home Office contacted an asylum seeker and asked for £2,000 in return for approving his refugee application.

In a statement, Lancashire Police confirmed they 'arrested a man on suspicion of misconduct in public office' in March.

A spokesperson said: "Officers from Lancashire Constabulary alongside partners from the Home Office arrested the man, in his 30s, in the Ramsgreave area of Blackburn on the morning of Tuesday, March 19.

"He was also arrested on suspicion of money laundering, bribery, and computer misuse offences.

"He has been bailed pending further enquiries. An investigation remains in its early stages and enquiries are ongoing.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage, but we will update when we are able to."

The Home Office told BBC News in Northern Ireland a member of staff has been suspended.

In a report, the BBC spoke to the intended victim who said he was contacted by someone employed as an asylum ‘decision maker’ in the north of England.

He said: “He said I could be sure he would refuse my application.

"But if I could help him, he could help me and he asked for some money. He asked for £2,000.

"He basically offered me a positive decision."

The intended victim said at first he thought it was ‘a total scam’, but during a phone conversation realised the man did work for the Home Office.

"He had all my information. He gave me very specific details from my application," he added.

The intended victim recorded a video call he received from the decision maker, which he passed to police and which has also been seen by the BBC.

The footage appears to show an individual using a laptop which has official Home Office software containing case files.

He added: "There will be other asylum seekers who are going through the same process, or maybe there are some people who have already been scammed like this.

"I feel this is my responsibility to inform them.

"I was persecuted in my home country by the authorities. I was already afraid of the Home Office and other institutions here."

The asylum seeker raised concerns with his solicitor who alerted the authorities. He has since been assured his refugee status is secure.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "We expect the highest standards from our staff to ensure asylum claims are properly considered, decisions are sound and that protection is granted to those who genuinely need it.

"The member of staff was arrested and suspended. It would be inappropriate to comment further as the matter is subject to a live police investigation."