Commons Speaker will raise cocaine use in Parliament allegations with police

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House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will contact the Metropolitan Police about drug use in the building, following a report that one of the 12 lavatory areas in Parliament that were tested showed traces of cocaine

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said those
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said those “flout the law” should face punishment

Police will be contacted about alleged drug use in Parliament as the Government promises a crackdown on cocaine users.

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said a report that cocaine had been found in several lavatory areas of Westminster palace as “deeply concerning”.

He pledged to raise the issue with the Metropolitan Police this week, and said those who “flout the law” should face punishment.

All that one of the 12 lavatory areas in Parliament that were tested showed traces of cocaine, the Sunday Times reported.

The House of Commons Commission, which is responsible for the running of the Palace of Westminster, was considering allowing the use of sniffer dogs to detect users, the publication reported.

Most of the checked toilets in the Palace of Westminster had traces of cocaine
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Sir Lindsay told the BBC : “The accounts of drug misuse in Parliament given to the Sunday Times are deeply concerning, and I will be raising them as a priority with the Metropolitan Police next week. I expect to see full and effective enforcement of the law.

“While Parliament provides extensive support services for any staff or Members who may need help with drug misuse – and I would encourage anyone struggling with such issues to take up such help – for those who choose to flout the law and bring the institution into disrepute the sanctions are serious.”

The revelations about drug taking in the heart of British politics comes as the Prime Minister pledged to tackle substance abuse within the middle-class.

This week Boris Johnson will launch a 10-year plan to tackle illegal drug-related crime which will include removing passports and driving licences from offenders, it has been reported.

The crackdown will also include football-style travel bans, harsher sentences for drug dealers and measures to break up County Lines gangs.

The Government wants to crack down on this kind of behaviour
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The Sun reported Boris Johnson will outline “record” funding for addiction treatment and recovery services, with more money promised for the 50 local authorities with the worst drug issues including Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Liverpool.

“We need to look at new ways of penalising them,” he said of middle-class drug takers.

“Things that will actually interfere with their lives.

“So we will look at taking away their passports and driving licences.”

The Government announced in July it would establish a new unit to help end illegal drug-related illness and deaths, as the second part of Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs was released.

The first phase of the review, published in February last year, estimated there were 300,000 opiate or crack users in England, and around one million people using cocaine per year.

Meanwhile, drug misuse poisoning deaths are at a record high, having increased by nearly 80% since 2012.

Dame Carol’s review also determined the illicit drugs market in the UK is worth £9.4 billion a year, but costs society more than double that figure.

Boris Johnson says he’s looking a new ways to “penalise” drug users
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If health considerations, the cost of crime and societal impacts are combined, the total cost of illegal drugs is £19 billion annually.

Since the Conservatives came into power 11 years ago, drug misuse deaths in the UK has risen from around 30 deaths per one million people per year, to more than 50/one million now.

The maximum penalty for possession of class A drugs, including cocaine, is up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

One in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years took a drug in the year to March 2020, Office for National Statistics figures show.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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