Mr Grayling, who now has his own social media hashtag – #FailingGrayling – awarded cross-Channel ferry contracts to three firms to the sum of £108million, prompting EuroTunnel to trigger legal action against the Government. One of the three contracts was handed to a firm that had no ferries at all. Now, the Transport Secretary faces two investigations into his actions, which cost taxpayers the colossal sum, with many calling on him to quit his ministerial role. Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, told The Times: “This was an extraordinary procurement which is now unravelling at the taxpayers’ expense.”
Conservative MP Huw Merriman, who also sits on the Committee, added Mr Grayling would be required to explain “exactly what’s happened, what he’s going to do to remedy it and what he thinks is his position as a result of that”.
He told Channel 4 News: “What we are touching on here is something that does seem to have occurred under his executive position as secretary of state, which is why he will need to explain exactly why the decision has been made to pay such a high amount out.”
He added it was “absolutely outrageous that a company has managed to get £33million out of a £108million tender contract, effectively make 33 percent profit, by doing absolutely nothing”.
EuroTunnel claimed it did not have a chance to compete for the contracts awarded for freight services in the event of a no-deal Brexit as they were handed out in a “secretive and flawed procurement process”.
EuroTunnel’s payout comes amid a spate of gaffes by Mr Grayling that has plagued his time in Government.
In 2013, the then-Justice Secretary introduced a ban of sending books to prisoners, which was deemed unlawful by the High Court.
The same court ruled cuts to legal aid for certain types of prisoner introduced by Mr Grayling was also unlawful in the same year.
After complaining about cycle lanes, he knocked a cyclist off their bike after opening his car door without first looking in 2016.
He recently handed a £14million contract to Seaborne Freight to deliver goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which fell through when the firm said the shipping company it was relying on pulled out.
As Transport Secretary, he also once failed to recognise cyclists as road users.