DOWNING Street has confirmed that the Justice Secretary was “speaking on behalf of the Government” when he defended Lee Anderson telling migrants to “f*** off back to France”.

Anderson has attracted fierce criticism for his comments, but that has not stopped Downing Street from defending him.

The Tory Party’s deputy chair told the Express that migrants who do not want to stay on the Bibby Stockholm barge should “f*** off back to France”.

The MP was defended by his colleague and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk (below) on LBC, who described the word choice as “salty” but that “his indignation is well placed”.

The National: Secretary of State for Justice Alex Chalk (Aaron Chown/PA)

Since then, Downing Street has told Sky News: “The Justice Secretary was speaking on behalf of the government.”

Anderson has hit back at some of the criticism labelled at him, including from suspended Labour MP Diane Abbott who said the comments were “a new low even for the Tories”.

He tweeted: “Wrong again @HackneyAbbott. I told illegal migrants to go back to France not genuine asylum seekers.

“Btw not seen you in Parliament for a few months. Are you on leave or have you said something daft again?”

Abbott had the whip suspended after she writing a letter in which she suggested Irish, Jewish and Traveller people are not subject to racism “all their lives”.

We previously told how the SNP said that Anderson’s comments proved the Tories “really are the nasty party”.

Their justice and immigration spokesperson Stuart McDonald said: “The way the Tories have dehumanised desperate people is sickening, and proves they really are the nasty party.

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“We owe it to those seeking refuge from unimaginable conditions to provide safe shelter.

“Instead, the Tories, now with the support of pro-Brexit Labour, have sought to use human beings as political tools.

“Scotland can and will have an asylum and immigration system that is both fair and humane, but it’s clear we can only do that with the full powers of independence.”