Former British Government Minister in bazarre suggestion for Zimbabwe's woes

LONDON – Former British cabinet minister Lord Renton has made a bizarre suggestion that the best way to help economic recovery of Zimbabwe is to give the country's president a 'comfortable and well looked after home in Britain'

Giving Robert Mugabe a comfortable house in the UK would be the best way for the government to help the people of Zimbabwe, a Tory former Foreign Office minister said today.

Lord Renton of Mount Harry’s claim came as peers discussed the situation in the troubled African country at question time in the House of Lords.

Lady Verma, answering on behalf of ministers, had said the economic situation had "improved significantly" since the formation of the inclusive government in the country.

But former Tory MP Renton asked: "Would you agree that the best way for us to help and assist the economic recovery of Zimbabwe would be to offer President Mugabe a safe, comfortable and well looked after home in Britain?"

Verma replied: "I think your suggestion is interesting, but I don’t think I will comment on it further."

Lord Renton served as a minister both the Foreign Office and the Home Office, and as a parliamentary secretary to the Treasury. He was Margaret Thatcher’s chief whip between 1989 and 1990 and served in John Major’s government as minister for the arts between 1990 and 1992.

He was Conservative Member of Parliament for Mid-Sussex from 1974 to 1997, after which he was created a life peer as Baron Renton of Mount Harry, of Offham in the County of East Sussex and took his seat in the House of Lords.