During a debate in the House of Lords earlier today Lord Lawson suggested that the building of cycleways in London was "doing more damage to London than almost anything since the Blitz."
Nigel Lawson is a former chancellor of the exchequer, and father of chef Nigella Lawson. He is also a leading climate-change denier.
His comments in parliament today were in a debate about Transport for London. Conservative peer Lord Higgins had steered the subject on to cycle lanes, blaming not motoring for London's foul air but cycling. He said the "appalling increases in congestion and pollution" were "caused by the introduction of bicycle lanes".
Answering this strange claim with an even more bizarre one of his own, Lord Lawson said:
"My Lords, we all know the Mayor of London’s addiction to cycling, but is my noble friend Lord Higgins not absolutely right that what is happening now has done more damage, and is doing more damage, to London than almost anything since the Blitz?"
Lord Lawson suggested that cycling was also "hugely age discriminatory". The former chanceller said: "There is a huge section of the population of a certain age, well represented in this House – I declare an interest – for whom cycling is not a practical option."
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the undersecretary of state for transport, countered with:
"I suggest to my noble friend that it is never too late to start."
This positive contribution to the debate by Lord Ahmad is far different to his claim from last month when the Tory peer said that cyclists pose more danger to “commuters” than “trucks and cars.”