THE perception of threat from nuclear weapons has again been in the news over recent weeks. The continuing unsettled politics of Kashmir risks conflict between nuclear armed states. The American president is concerned about North Korea because their nuclear capability is seen as an unacceptable threat. But last month the threat of a renewed nuclear arms race was ignited with first the United States and then Russia suspending compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

We are a group of doctors, medical students and other health professionals, members in Scotland of Medact, an organisation working on how issues of politics and conflict interact with health. Our colleagues internationally were instrumental in a process which highlighted the terrifying humanitarian consequences of any nuclear conflict and resulted in the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Why write now? Because any risk of nuclear conflict is unacceptable and in a world of increasing uncertainty and environmental change that risk is increased. And whenever the issue reaches public consciousness we must remember and promote that groundswell of opinion internationally which opposes possession of nuclear weapons, including organisations such as the World Medical Association and the International Committees of Red Cross and Red Crescent. 122 nations voted in favour of the UN Treaty. That debate should be joined by nuclear weapons states such as Britain as an important step in the process towards disarmament.

Duncan MacIntyre, consultant physician (retired); Lesley Morrison, general practitioner; Guy Johnson, GP; Safiya Noor Dhanani, junior doctor; Danuta Orlowska, clinical psychologist; Judith McDonald, GP; Michael Orgel, retired clinician;

Martina Zeitler, medical student; Molly Donovan, medical student; Richard and Cath Dyer, retired GPs; Georgina Race, junior doctor; Margaret Craig, GP,

c/o74 Montgomery Street, Eaglesham.

Let Rudd's apology suffice

LISTENING to the interview with Amber Rudd on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 (March 7) I was deeply moved when I heard her articulate the amount of vile vitriol she has to endure on various social media platforms these days. During the programme she also expressed her sympathy with other people in the public eye who are forced to endure such similar disturbing and caustic comments. She went on to highlight the plight of women in general and women of colour in particular, sighting Dianne Abbot as an example. Now whilst a remark of that nature may appear offensive to some, it was obvious to most listeners that Ms Rudd’s comment was meant in no other way than to be supportive of Ms Abbot. Once she became aware that Ms Abbot considered her use of language in this respect a racist slur and that it had indeed caused offence Ms Rudd made an immediate and sincere apology ("Rudd apologises after describing Abbott as ‘coloured’", The Herald, March 7). She was genuinely mortified that her loose remark, which clearly she felt was being supportive of minorities, had had the opposite effect in some quarters. Her apology for this mistake should now be the end of the matter and not an excuse to bombard her with more hatred from obscure and cowardly trolls.

Christopher H Jones,

25 Ruthven Avenue, Giffnock.

I CANNOT but feel sorry when anyone, in political office in particular, is required to make a statement where reference to someone`s skin colour comes into the equation. At what point does a person become black as against white, as there are considerable gradations of colour in between ?

George Dale,

21 Oakwood Drive, Beith.