I’m told the new chief in the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Anthony Harbinson, made quite the impression at Balmoral.

Before getting on to that, I should clarify that Harbinson is the new interim permanent secretary of DAERA, the equivalent of the secretary general of the Department of Agriculture in the south.

Back to Balmoral, COVID-19 means that a key networking event at the show, the DAERA breakfast, was open to only an elite few.

While the great and good of the NI livestock industry were tucking into their taxpayer-funded sausages, eggs and bacon, a waiter turned up and shouted “Vegetarian option”, to which Harbinson raised his hand.

I hear he would also only drink mint tea.

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