A specialist police unit should be established to investigate a church accused of exploiting young vulnerable people, MPs have heard.

Labour's Steve Reed (Croydon North) and colleagues in the Commons used a short debate to raise allegations against SPAC Nation.

Mr Reed said: "This is not an organisation getting young people out of crime, as it claims, it is an organisation criminalising young people for its own ends."

MPs heard the church operates across London (including Croydon) and has "expanded into other cities", including Birmingham and Leicester.

HuffPost UK has reported allegations that some members of the church had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as "bleeding for seed".

BBC Panorama has also reported allegations which accused SPAC Nation of financially exploiting young people.

The church, which denies the claims, has previously been praised by politicians for its work to tackle knife crime and gang violence.

RELATED: Concerns raised over relationship between SPAC Nation and Croydon Conservative Party

The DUP's Jim Shannon (Strangford), intervening in the debate, told Mr Reed: "What he has illustrated in the House tonight is worrying to every one of us here who has heard it, and it's hard not to be moved and feel concerned about it.

"The magnitude and the massiveness of what (Mr Reed) has outlined would indicate to me that it wouldn't just be an ordinary police investigation, it probably needs a certain specialised unit set aside with the resources and the manpower and woman-power to try and have the investigation concluded and to put an end to what's going on.

"Exploitation of young people is abysmal and is despicable and needs to be addressed."

Mr Reed said he agreed with "every word" said by Mr Shannon.

Culture minister Helen Whately reiterated the Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into SPAC Nation's finances, governance, safeguarding and overall compliance with charity law.

The commission, which describes the London church as a charity set up to "advance Christianity" that works particularly with young people, has ordered it to bank all cash while the investigation takes place.

Ms Whately added she said could not comment on specific allegations while the investigation takes place.

She also said: "I understand the Met Police is already reviewing allegations into fraud and other offences which relate to SPAC Nation."