A criminal defence solicitor was left choking on his cornflakes after receiving a surreal message from the Legal Aid Agency in the early hours of last Wednesday.

Andrew Gurney, a director at Gurney Harden Solicitors, had asked the agency on Twitter if there was any news on the outcome of the government’s tender for new criminal legal aid contracts.

The agency responded at 6.05am with the tweet pictured.

A spokesperson for the Legal Aid Agency said: ‘This tweet was clearly unintended and we are looking into what has happened.’

Gurney’s response was suitably withering: ‘I thought not only do the LAA treat solicitors with contempt by delaying the contract outcome notification date when people’s livelihoods are at stake, but when they do respond it is nothing but nonsense.

‘But at least the LAA are nothing if not consistent.’