The impact of Brexit, attacks on the judiciary and the continued spending cuts have given the outgoing Lord Chief Justice a tough year.

In his final annual report before his four-year post comes to an end, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said: ‘My final year in office has, in many ways, been the most difficult.’

He said: ‘Nine years of austerity, retrenchment and other significant reductions in the provision of resources have made the task of delivering justice ever more difficult.’

Thomas highlighted the Brexit ramifications, which saw the judiciary having to ‘defend its independence’ as particularly problematic along with concerns over criminal and family justice.