The Country Land and Business Association has expressed concern over rumours that the acting head of the Rural Payments Agency, Mark Addison, is already planning his departure.

The CLA said it had been deeply concerned to ‘learn’ that Mr Addison is to be replaced. 

“Since he was appointed on March 16 there has been no indication at all that he would be in post for only a very short time,” it said.

“The CLA is concerned that since the RPA problem was largely a problem with their top management, to change the chief executive again after only two months would be destabilising and therefore highly dangerous.”

The RPA and DEFRA both claimed that no timetable for Mr Addison’s departure had been set, although stressed that his job had always been temporary.

“Mr Addison is still in situation,” said an RPA spokesman. “And no announcement has been made on any departure at this stage.”