“I apologise to farmers who are caught up in the delays. We are working flat-out to get them paid,” said Minister Creed, when asked why 8,000 farmers are still waiting for GLAS payments some four and half months after they were expected.

“I am acutely conscious that we are some way behind our own ambition and commitment under the Farmers Charter to pay farmers. That disappoints me but I appreciate that, as a farmer, it’s not what you want to hear. You want to know when you are going to be paid.