Labour pressed the Government to reveal the true cost of the barge being used to house migrants off the Dorset coast, and when they might be returned to the vessel following a Legionella scare.

Shadow Home Office minister Stephen Kinnock told MPs: “It has been more than a month since all 39 asylum seekers were hauled off the 500 capacity Bibby Stockholm due to the detection of Legionella, but the Home Secretary is yet to give a date on when the barge will actually be ready for use.

“We still don’t know why the Home Secretary chose not to wait for the Legionella results before ploughing ahead, and why her minister was so slow to act once the results came in.

“And we are still yet to hear a denial from the Home Secretary that this is one of the most lethal strains of the bacteria as reported in the media. Will she today set out her responses to these questions? And will she confirm the exact cost of the barge – half a million pounds per month to house zero asylum seekers on this floating symbol of failure feels utterly extortionate?

“And why, why, why is it that the only boat this Government has managed to stop is its own?”