TORY MPs have joined growing calls for Chris Grayling to be sacked as Transport Secretary after the collapse of the infamous No Deal Brexit ferry contract which was given to a firm without any ships.

The Department of Transport axed the £13.8m deal with Seaborne Freight after its key supplier, Ireland’s Arklow Shipping, withdrew.

Seaborne was supposed to run lifeline services between Ramsgate and Ostend if the Dover-Calais route becomes choked by a chaotic Brexit.

Despite misgivings about Seaborne’s inexperience, lack of a working port and absence of vessels, Mr Grayling defended the arrangement until last week.

But on Saturday his department said it had become clear that Seaborne “would not reach its contractual requirements” and the deal had been terminated.

Mr Grayling, one of the Brexiter contingent in the cabinet, was also savaged in his previous role as Justice Secretary, particularly over a failed £170m privatisation of probation.

Former Tory minister Anna Soubry said he should be “quietly considering his position”.

She said: “Chris Grayling holds a critical position in government, trying to mitigate what would be a very serious crisis for the country if we leave the European Union without a deal. He has no grip on the very serious nature of his job. The prime minister should also be considering whether there is not someone else who could do the job better.”

Another senior Tory MP told the Observer that Mr Grayling was a “walking disaster zone”.

Another Tory MP told paper: “Grayling never has a grip on the detail, as the Seaborne mess shows. The PM just turns a blind eye, for some reason.”

Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, said the episode would “just confirm the view of many that this country is in a mess”.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, who has questioned the legal basis of the Seaborne contract, 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.”

SNP Brexit Secretary Mike Russell added: “It’s symptomatic of the farce of the UK government. We’re all in a desperately situation and we really can’t put up with such incompetence.”

Labour MP Andy McDonald said: “While Theresa May needs the few friends she has right now, we cannot have this incompetent transport secretary heaping humiliation after humiliation on our country. He has to go.”

LibDem leader Vince Cable said: “I very rarely call on ministers to go, but failing Grayling has made too many crass mistakes. He has already lost the confidence of the civil service as they now require a ministerial directive for the government to spend money on ferries.”

But Communities Secretary James Brokenshire told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think Chris has done a really tough job, really positively, to ensure we are well prepared. I strongly endorse all the work that Chris has been doing.”