Minister Admits He Would Be Surprised If There Weren't Some 'Lifestyle Drug Users' Among Parliament Staff

·3 min read
Kit Malthouse, policing minister, speaking about the government's new crackdown on drug-related crime (Photo: Sky News)
Kit Malthouse, policing minister, speaking about the government's new crackdown on drug-related crime (Photo: Sky News)

Policing minister Kit Malthouse admitted that while he was not aware of any drug-taking in Westminster, he would not be “surprised” if some staff did take illegal substances.

The minister was addressing new reports from The Sunday Times that out of 12 parliamentary sites tested for cocaine, 11 came back positive.

This comes just as the government is announcing a new crackdown on the way it handles drugs in the UK, especially casual users.

Sky News’ Kay Burley was quick to combine the issues and pointed out to the policing minister that Malthouse’s own colleagues could face punishment under Downing Street’s new proposals.

The minister replied: “Well, I’d hope not.

“There’s obviously several thousand of people who work on this estate and I’d be surprised if there weren’t some lifestyle users of drugs among them, I have to say.”

Emphasising that reducing casual drug use is going to be a new priority, Malthouse said: “What we want to try and do is get to a situation where the police and other authorities are concentrating as much on that part of the drug industry as they are on crack and heroine.”

He later echoed a similar sentiment on BBC Breakfast, and interviewer Sally Nugent noted his admission of parliamentary drug use could “shock” viewers.

She asked if he would support a subsequent investigation into the House of Commons.

Malthouse replied: “If there is an allegation of drug-taking or drug-possession anywhere – and the reports have been made to the police – then obviously they have a duty to investigate.

“if I saw it and witnessed it, then I would report it.”

He later added: “We need to reflect that there’s a lot of lifestyle users of cocaine.”

He wants to turn casual users away from their habits by “interfering in their lives to bring about change”.

This could potentially involve removing the passports or driving licenses of users in a bid to drive down the demand for drugs.

A White Paper is coming out next year where the government will lay out its plan for preventing drug crime over the next decade.

Nugent also pointed out that as Malthouse was saying he would support an investigation into whether drugs are being taken in Parliament, would he support an investigation into whether lockdown rules were breached in a Downing Street party last year.

This is a controversy that’s unfolded in recent days, after the Mirror claimed government staff breached the tier 3 rules in December 2020 by having a gathering.

Malthouse hit back: “I haven’t offered a view other way on the party. I just said I’ve had assurances [that Covid rules were followed].”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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