Payments under the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme will start reaching bank accounts from May 4.

Commenting, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary – and SNP candidate for Inverness and Nairn – Fergus Ewing, said: “I am pleased to see that this scheme - which the SNP Government launched in 2016 to support sheep producers in the most fragile and remote parts of Scotland – will inject up to a further £7 million into our rural economy.

"We have already met the payments deadline four months ahead of schedule, providing farmers and crofters with hundreds of millions of support to keep producing food and stewarding our countryside.

“Whilst the Tories and Labour have acted to make lives increasingly difficult for our farmers and crofters in Scotland, including by voting for a hard Brexit deal and withholding convergence funding, the SNP has stood up for them and delivered on our promises," added Mr Ewing, with his electioneering hat on.

"We secured £160 million in historic convergence funding and passed every penny on to farmers and crofters; we brought LFASS payments back to 100% and fixed the IT payment system to allow us to make basic and Greening payments at their earliest ever date last year.

“If re-elected, the SNP will continue to prioritise working to improve the lives of those in our rural communities, who make up the backbone of Scotland’s society. And unlike the Tories who are stopping making direct payments to farmers in England, we will keep paying farmers and crofters here in Scotland to produce our food and actively farm."