The UK Government has been accused of administering a “punishment beating” to peers for challenging controversial plans to tackle the small boats crisis.

The charge was levelled at Westminster as the parliamentary tussle over the Illegal Migration Bill threatened to stretch into the night.

It came as Tory immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, told the Commons that the Illegal Migration Bill must be allowed to become law without it being weakened by the Lords.

The flagship reforms have faced fierce opposition in the House of Lords, which has insisted on further changes to the law, despite similar revisions being previously rejected by the Commons, albeit with rebellions by Tory backbenchers concerned about the flagship reforms.

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With MPs set to reject their renewed demands, the Bill was not due to return to the Lords until later on Monday with the prospect of votes seeking further concessions not being held until the early hours.

The nighttime continuation of ping-pong, where the legislation is batted between the Lords and Commons until an agreement is reached, has drawn criticism in the unelected chamber.

The contentious Bill has already been subject to previous lengthy sittings in the Lords, which ordinarily rises at 10pm, including one that did not end until dawn.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Jenrick said: "Last Tuesday, this House voted 18 times, more times than in any other day on any other given piece of legislation, and 18 times this House voted to support this Bill.

“This House sent back to the House of Lords their 20 amendments to the Bill, many of them simply driving a coach and horses through the fabric of the legislation.

“We brought forward reasonable amendments where it was sensible to do so, and it is disappointing to say the least that some of these have been rejected.

“We believe that inaction is not an option, that we must stop the boats, and that this Bill is a key part of our plan to do just that.”

Speaking in the upper chamber, Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey said: “Is it not the case that the way that this is being structured is you like almost a sort of punishment beating for the House of Lords for daring to question a particular piece of legislation?”

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He said the Bill’s current timetabling saddled peers with dealing it late at night after MPs considered it earlier in the day.

Lord Harris said: “Would it not be better for us to agree that we finish at the normal time tonight then we can consider it at a sensible hour tomorrow (Tuesday)?

“If the Commons need to consider it again they can either do it if they wish very late at night tomorrow or perhaps can wait until the following day (Wednesday).”

Responding, Lords chief whip Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “I think the House would agree that there is nothing unusual about this ping-pong process.

“One of the things that has led to a slight delay today (Monday) is there is a statement in the House of Commons. The statement is coming first, followed by the consideration (of the Lords amendments) and then it is coming back to us.

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“That is not unusual.”

Tory former Cabinet minister Lord McLoughlin pointed to the immigration minister’s comment at the weekend that the Government was not planning to make any further compromises on the Bill.

The Conservative peer, who served as chief whip in the Commons, said: “Couldn’t we save some time? Couldn’t we tell those who want to put amendments down the Bill’s not going to change? It’s going to come back in the state that the minister says it’s going to come back. That would actually save quite a lot of time. We can just get on with the debate.”

Lady Williams said: “He knows that is not the way of politics.”