JUSTICE Secretary Alex Chalk has defended Lee Anderson after the deputy chair of the Tory Party said asylum seekers should “f*** off back to France”.

Chalk defended the comments made by the Ashfield MP after just 15 migrants entered the floating accommodation off the Dorset coast on Monday.

The UK Government has said that the barge, initially designed to fit around 200 people, has a 500-person capacity.

Speaking to LBC about Anderson’s comments, Chalk said: “Lee Anderson expresses the righteous indignation of the British people. Yes, he does it in salty terms, that’s his style’ but his indignation is well placed.”

The Justice Secretary said France is a safe country and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights.

“People should claim asylum in the first country – it’s not like there should be an open shopping list of where you want to go,” he said.

“He expresses himself in his characteristically robust terms but there is a lot of sense, in my respectful view, in what Lee says.”

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On those complaining about the accommodation, Anderson told Express.co.uk: “If they don’t like barges then they should f*** off back to France.”

He added: “I think people have just had enough.

“These people come across the Channel in small boats… if they don’t like the conditions they are housed in here then they should go back to France, or better not come at all in the first place.”

His comments come after charity Care4Calais said it had helped to have the transfer of several migrants moving to the barge "cancelled".

The charity's chief executive is among many people to have condemned the use of the barge to house asylum seekers. 

Steve Smith said: "Amongst our clients are people who have survived torture and modern slavery and who have had traumatic experiences at sea. 

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"To house any human being in a 'quasi floating prison' lke the Bibby Stockholm is inhumane. 

"To try and do so with this group of people is unbelievably cruel. Even just receiving the notices is causing them a great deal of anxiety."