Foundation X is real, Lord James tells Sky News

Following his bizarre revelations in the House of Lords on Monday, Lord James of Blackheath has insisted in an interview on Sky TV that mysterious benefactor, 'Foundation X', really is waiting in the wings to rescue the UK economy - if only the Government would get in touch.

The Tory peer claimed in the interview that the publicity-shy organisation had told him this week that it was ready to hand over £17 billion by Christmas to complete London's CrossRail project if ministers put in the call.

In the interview, a seemingly un-bonkers Lord James fended off suggestions that he was being taken in by an elaborate hoax, saying:

"If it's all wrong you can blame it on this maverick ageing old-codger peer and if I'm right, you get all the great glory of this happening for the British economy."

The peer remains entirely convinced of the offer's authenticity. He said he had been working on a deal for 21 weeks, and the organisation had "not put a foot wrong".

If true, the interest-free bail-out could be bigger than the Marshall Plan, the US-funded deal that helped Europe recover from the Second World War.

'Foundation X' had, he said, a "massive supranational accumulation of funds" which have accumulated over 100 years. He said the organisation wanted to safeguard its own investments by rescuing the global economy from its current instability.

According to Lord James, the mysterious benefactors had provided a list of referees that included the "most high-profile people on the world stage."

He likened the deal to "finding out that Father Christmas really does exist and that he's just popped down your chimney".