The National:

THE threat of conflict between Ukraine and Russia has rekindled grave fears of nuclear Armageddon.

For most people, the prospect of a global nuclear conflict is the stuff of nightmares.

But one House of Lords member has stunned onlookers with his blasé remarks about worldwide annihilation.

Baron Truscott, a petroleum and mining consultant, made his now infamous remarks following a statement by Lord West of Spithead.

West told the House: “The greatest risk to the survival of mankind is not global warming, it is an accidental thermonuclear war.

“One has only to look at the dreadful behaviour of Putin, not just around Ukraine but in a number of other ways, and his very loose talk about his de-escalatory policy of using a nuclear weapon should he be losing a conventional war, to see what the real risks are.”

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Tory peer Baroness Goldie replied: “That would be a very alarming prognosis and a very unwelcome outcome, which I obviously hope can be avoided.”

Aside from a few Bond villains, few would consider that response to be controversial.

But amazingly, Truscott took issue with the description of nuclear Armageddon as an “unwelcome outcome”.

In a written question submitted in December, he asked: “Further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 29 November (HL Deb, col 1130), what are their reasons for believing that a thermonuclear war with Russia would be an ‘unwelcome outcome’?”

The National:

The question has now gone viral on social media after resurfacing amid reports of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Reassuringly, Goldie was steadfast in her reply.

“It is difficult to envisage any scenario in which war, whether accidental, thermonuclear or otherwise, and irrespective of which other parties may be involved, would be a welcome outcome,” came the curt response. “Her Majesty's Government is committed to resolving issues peacefully and diplomatically wherever possible.”

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If Truscott's name sounds familiar, you may know him from the 2009 expenses scandal when he and another peer were suspended from Parliament for six months for offering to change the law in exchange for cash.

He was also criticised in 2017 after pocketing nearly £57,000 in taxpayer-funded allowances despite speaking just three times in a year.

In case anyone needed it, here’s yet another reminder of how ludicrous the unelected House of Lords is.