Give Russian President Vladimir Putin Nobel Peace Prize, says former Labour peer

Lord Truscott: "Russian-led Syrian peace plan is the most significant peace initiative this year"

A former Labour peer disclosed today that he had nominated Russian President Putin for the Nobel peace prize.

Lord Truscott took the Lords by surprise at question time by announcing that he had taken the unusual step over the president's recent actions on Syria.

But his move was swiftly disowned by the Labour frontbencher Lord Triesman who insisted it was not a part of official party policy to nominate President Putin.

Lord Truscott, who sits as a non-affiliated peer after being suspended for misconduct in 2009, said: "Many people would argue that the Russian-led Syrian peace plan is the most significant peace initiative this year.

"To recognise this and encourage Russia in its peace-making endeavours, a few hours ago, I nominated President Putin for the Nobel peace prize."

The peer, who has written a biography of the president, asked if the Government would dissent from such a move.

But this was sidestepped by Cabinet office spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire, who told him: "This has been a joint US-Russian peace initiative. It's not purely a Russian-led peace initiative.

"We welcome the constructive response Russia is now making on Syria and we hope and expect that the Russians will ensure President Assad and his regime are represented at the Geneva Two peace conference at the end of November."

Lord Triesman told peers: "I should make clear that it's no part of the official opposition's policy to nominate President Putin for the Nobel peace prize."

The initiative to destroy Syria's chemical weapons was "plainly welcome" but there was still much more to do to secure peace, he said.

Lord Truscott and another Labour peer were suspended for six months in 2009 after being found by a Lords committee to be willing to change laws in exchange for cash.

The two men denied the allegations made by the Sunday Times.

Lord Truscott, who resigned from the Labour Party, argued he has been made a scapegoat.

PA

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