Tim Brentnall is asked by Labour MP Ian Lavery about progress to his claim, which has taken him three years to build.

“It is so complex because the business I had was a small business with a Post Office and a small fish and chip shop,” he explains to the committee.

“We have had to evidence every kind of loss since I was prosecuted. We don’t have all the documents from 15 years ago.”

Brentnall says his claim is “almost ready to go in” but voices his scepticism about how quickly it will be responded to.

He adds: “We have always been told we have to go into this amount of detail because it is public money.

“It feels like I’m picking crumbs from the table.”