TRANSPORT secretary Chris Grayling should “face the music” for the debacle of the Seaborne ferries contract, according to SNP MP Joanna Cherry, whose forensic questioning of the UK Government’s decision to award the contract to a firm with no ships exposed the fiasco.

Grayling, who was Theresa May’s leadership campaign manager, is also facing calls for him to “consider his position”, as Tory MP Anna Soubry put it.

The Transport Secretary awarded Seaborne Freight a £13.8 million contract to ensure ferries would keep crossing the English Channel from Ramsgate to Ostend in the event of the UK leaving the EU on March 29 without a deal.

WATCH: Tory MP won't answer simple question about Seaborne Freight

The government was forced to admit on Saturday that the contract had been cancelled after Irish company Arklow Shipping, which had backed Seaborne, ended its involvement with the deal.

It had earlier emerged that Seaborne had no ferries, Ramsgate could not provide berthing facilities and the company had copied part of its bid from the website of a takeaway firm.

Joanna Cherry has repeatedly queried the legality of the tendering process over the last month and demanded that the UK Government publish the relevant legal advice.

Potential legal action against the UK Government is thought to have contributed to the termination of the contract this weekend after it was reported Eurotunnel had threatened to sue for anti-competitive practices.

The National: Joanna Cherry: The episode 'defies satire'Joanna Cherry: The episode 'defies satire'

Cherry queried how Grayling’s Department for Transport had awarded contracts worth £103m using emergency exemption provided for by the Public Contract Regulations Act (PCR), which states public tender can be avoided “for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority.”

READ MORE: Seaborne Freight dismisses Brexit ferry fears scandal

Cherry said: “This has been a remarkable episode from start to finish – a shambolic debacle that completely defies satire. The Transport Secretary should face the music for presiding over this affair.

“For over a month now I’ve queried the legal basis of this contract and UK Government ministers have dodged my questions. Now that the contract has been terminated it’s pretty clear my concerns were well founded.

“This fiasco has become the ultimate metaphor for Brexit – a complete farce, a government deluding itself and the public and, ultimately, an ill-fated disaster.

“The government should reflect very seriously on how badly they got this wrong. The Transport Secretary should think long and hard about how he can continue to justify his position, and people deserve an apology.”

Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said: “We cannot have this incompetent Transport Secretary heaping humiliation after humiliation on our country. He has to go.”