Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs Nick Smith has blasted the Government’s handling of vital payments to farmers after a Public Account Committee report into their failings.

Speaking after the report’s publication, which can be found HERE, Mr Smith said:

“The PAC’s report has exposed the childish squabbling and terrible mismanagement that has created this payments fiasco, but that will be of little comfort to farmers still waiting for payments.

“Now we are all left to count the cost of this failure.

“The Government must accept their part in a project that may well have landed us with a £180m annual fine from the EU.

“The Farming Minister when challenged refuses to accept the fallout from this scheme.

“Money that could have gone to flood defences and British agriculture will now be wasted on unnecessary fines.

“The blame for this lies firmly in the hands of Ministers and senior officials who failed to control the RPA’s delivery programme.

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Editor’s note: The latest response to Nick’s questioning of the Government on disallowance is at

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