Lord Tebbit gives an unpleasant response to cycle ride invite

An invite to join the annual Parliamentary Bike Ride did not go down well with Lord Tebbit, who branded it a 'foolish exhibition'

Lord Tebbit (Photo: James Robertson/CC)

Lord Tebbit gave a slightly unpleasant response to an open invite to join the annual Parliamentary cycle ride in London on Wednesday, branding it a 'nuisance' and a 'foolish exhibition'.

The terse letter from the 85-year-old stalwart Conservative was addressed to Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth.

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"I was sorry to read in your recent circular of your proposal to increase peak hour traffic congestion in central London on Wednesday 8 June," Lord Tebbit wrote.

"Not only is that a nuisance, but by increasing congestion it will increase pollution."

"I suggest you cancel this foolish exhibition."

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Cadbury published the letter via Twitter on Thursday morning, saying "On Your Bike - Tebbit objected to our invitation to join us on yesterday's annual Parliamentary bike ride".

Several Twitter users replied in dismay. Gerhard Weiss said: "Classic reverse psychology to blame supposedly increased pollution on those who work for better conditions for cycling."

Mark Strong pointed out: "Presumably he has same attitude to State Opening of Parliament? Causes lots more congestion."

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Cadbury is a strong supporter of cycling, and is co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG). As such, Cadbury has been a key player in applying political pressure to up the investment in cycling and walking in Britain.