The usually cool Grant Shapps struggled to control his temper during a tense interview with Sky News today.
The energy secretary was forced to defend the government’s immigration policies after new migrant barges were described as “deathtraps” by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
Plans to move migrants on to the Bibby Stockholm, docked in Portland on the Dorset coast, have been beset by delays, with Government sources now suggesting the first arrivals may not be on board until next week.
Staff were seen carrying provisions onto the vessel on Wednesday morning.
Pictures showed a food delivery being unloaded from a Bidfood wholesaler truck, suggesting final preparations ahead of the arrivals are underway.
Putting Shapps to task on the matter, Jayne Secker asked how many immigrants were still in the UK despite their student visas running out.
The minister said: “I don’t know the answer on that specific point, but broadly I would say this government has really proactively passed – I have to say against Labour on every single occasion – a whole series of pieces of legislation …”
But the presenter replied: “It’s not Labour who’s been in power for the last 13 years.”
A clearly-annoyed Shapps hit back: “You need to let me complete my sentences here, otherwise this is not going to be very informative.”
Secker then said: “If I ask you about something the government has done, it seems disingenuous for you to then start blaming Labour.”
The minister responded: “Every time I give you an answer you cut across the answer.
“The point I was trying to make is we have been passing legislation against tooth and nail opposition from the Labour Party to crack down on things like illegal migration – what happens across the Channel, for example, with small boats.”
Watch the clip in full below: