The Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman has nicknamed the transport secretary “Failing Grayling”, after his no-deal Brexit ferry contracts cost taxpayers £33million.
The government has had to pay Eurotunnel the money to settle a legal action over the award of Brexit contracts to ferry firms, including one which had no ships.
MPs have called for Chris Grayling’s resignation over the payout, but Downing Street has insisted that the transport secretary has its full confidence.
Tom Brake told talkRADIO’s John Nicolson: “I asked Chris Grayling – ‘Failing Grayling’ as I like to call him – if he was sure that this complies with the rules that you have to follow in terms of contracts.
“He brushed it off. I am afraid that this has Chris Grayling written all over it.
“It is unfortunate for Mr Grayling that today we have also had a story about how much money he blew on privatising the probation service. I am afraid that it is time that Mr Grayling walks.”
On the same day news of £33 million payout emerged it was revealed by the National Audit Office that the scrapping of probation reforms introduced while Mr Grayling was justice secretary will cost taxpayers nearly half a billion pounds.
'Incapable of doing his job'
The MP for Carshalton and Wallington added that “it seemed as though no matter what he does that he carries on merrily”.
“It is frankly ludicrous. What happened with this contract is that the government said it was an emergency,” he said.
“They had not realised that they might have no deal and therefore require this extra ferry capacity to avoid things having to go through Calais and Dover.
“But the government has known ever since it triggered Article 50 that no-deal was a possibility.
“They have known that for 21 months. It is very hard to see how they could possibly claim this was an emergency.”
He added: “I think he should do the decent thing and resign as chief minister because he has clearly proven to be incapable of doing the job.”