BBC Question Time host Fiona Bruce was forced to intervene and reprimand a Tory Cabinet Secretary after he launched a personal attack on another panellist.

David TC Davies, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Wales, was appearing on Question Time on Thursday evening when he attacked Labour MP Bridget Phillipson, her party’s shadow education secretary.

The incident came amid a discussion about the Tories’ plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Davies claimed the “vast majority” of people looking to come to the UK were not fleeing oppression but only looking for a better standard of life.

“That’s why we need a stronger deterrent,” he said.

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Davies then went on to attack Welsh Labour, pointing to reports that an undisclosed number of unaccompanied young asylum seekers are taking part in a basic minimum income pilot which offers £1600 a month to 18-year-olds leaving care.

The top Tory claimed Labour want an “open doors” immigration policy, arguing that the basic income scheme was “encouraging people to come over to the United Kingdom”.

Phillipson called Davies’s argument’s “absolute garbage”, leading him to respond aggressively.

“Well, we’ll see afterwards,” he said, “because I’ll be asking my office to tweet right now the reports about this on the BBC about your £20,000 payments. Hopefully everyone will be able to get their phone and look at what you’ve actually done in Wales.

“You’re a disgrace, Bridget, and your policy is an absolute disgrace. You ought to know what your own Labour government is doing.”

Bruce then cut in to reprimand Davies, who in turn accused the BBC host of interrupting him too often.

Bruce said: “Can I just say on this programme – and I feel strongly about this and I'm not joking – I don't think we should be calling people individually a disgrace.

“I'm not sure that that is the kind of political discourse that we want.

“Calling a party’s behaviour disgraceful is one thing, calling an individual person that’s come on the panel a disgrace is not what I want to encourage.”

Davies insisted on continuing to attack Phillipson, adding to Bruce: “And Fiona you do interrupt me rather a lot yourself if you don’t mind me saying.”

Bruce then responded: “I’m not complaining about interrupting. I’d be the last person to complain about that because I know I do it a lot.

“I’m simply saying, how we refer to each other on the panel. We want to have a discourse where everyone can make their points.”

Davies continued to speak, saying it was “disgraceful that Bridget doesn’t know what her party is doing in Wales”.

Responding, the Labour MP said: “I honestly don’t know where to begin with that ludicrous nonsense we’ve just heard.”

Phillipson was then applauded as she pointed to an earlier discussion on standard in public life, and claimed Davies had been engaging in “outright lies”.

Davies was in fact correct that the Welsh Labour government is paying some asylum seekers a basic income as part of its pilot scheme.

The Cardiff government has denied that any of the young people in the scheme are illegal immigrants.