Business Secretary Lord Mandelson got out of a tangle when visiting the site of the London Gateway port.
Lord Mandelson arrived at site offices with the belt of his overcoat incorrectly buttoned and twisted at the back.
He chatted to staff and examined scale models of the port unaware of the problem.
But an onlooker pointed out the twist and an aide helped put the buttons in the right holes.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister found himself under scrutiny from an unlikely source at the port, as a fox watched his arrival.
The animal sat on the grass near the entrance to the construction site offices for around 10 minutes as the Prime Minister's convoy arrived.
Site workers said the fox visited the site daily and appeared to be tame.
"It's usually around when the sandwich van arrives," said one worker. "It's almost a pet."