The Speaker of the House of Commons is taking seriously reports of widespread drugs abuse amid traces of cocaine being found in several lavatories in Parliament, saying he will raise the allegations with Scotland Yard.
The House of Commons Commission is also considering using sniffer dogs, following reports from The Times on Sunday alleging evidence of the Class A drug cocaine in Parliamentary toilets. Whistleblowers claim that widespread drug abuse is an “open secret” on the Parliamentary Estate, not just amongst staff but MPs, also.
The newspaper of record had claimed that drugs detection wipes, commonly used in nightclubs, found evidence of cocaine in 11 out of 12 restrooms tested on the Parliamentary Estate, including in the toilets near the private office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Other places where drugs reportedly were found on the Estate — which is comprised of the Palace and other parliamentary buildings in Westminster — include three toilets in Portcullis House, the toilet near the press gallery, the lavatories close to the Lords’ bar and Strangers’ Bar (which is for MPs, officers of Parliament, and their staff and guests), and the men’s bathroom behind the Speaker’s chair.
The claims come two months after a report suggested that drug dealers had been arrested and 17 narcotics offences had taken place in Parliament last year. The year before, it was revealed that a prison launched a drugs probe after a letter sent to an inmate from Parliament had triggered the drugs detection system and was found to have traces of ecstasy.
A whistleblower in Parliament wrote for The Times that drugs use in Parliament was an “open secret”, claiming it was “relatively common” to “see people, particularly MPs’ staff, who are messed up. You see them wandering the halls, with a glazed look, staggering about.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says 'it's a long time since a government has said class A drugs are bad for society' when he is asked about the alleged use of drugs in Parliament.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 6, 2021
The Times also claimed that a former MP had not only put a drug dealer on the payroll but was alleged to have dealt drugs himself. The newspaper also alleged that “many sources” have told them there is a group of MPs who engage in casual cocaine use, with one source quoted as saying “I have seen an MP openly snorting cocaine at a party” in front of journalists.
“MPs tend to be more careful than staff and will go back to their office to do it rather than doing it in any of the public spaces, but I have heard of one staffer who walked in on their MP doing a late-night line at their desk,” another said.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the reports of the hard drug found in the halls of power were “deeply concerning”, telling the BBC on Sunday: “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.”
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse says 'I'd be surprised if there weren't some lifestyle users of drugs' amongst people who work in Parliament, adding 'lifestyle' users of class A drugs are 'driving much of the violence that we see from drug use'#KayBurley https://t.co/RsTiaZiS7l pic.twitter.com/7pWOINEFBx
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 6, 2021
Conservative MP Chris Walker, the chairman of the Administration Committee which discusses services for staff and MPs at Parliament and which advises the House of Commons Commission, said that sniffer dogs may be employed to root out drugs users.
“The House of Commons has a long history of using sniffer dogs to detect explosives,” Mr Walker said, adding: “It may be that we now need to broaden the range of sniffer dogs… to include those which can detect drugs.”
In a case of apparent odd timing, as these allegations are being revealed Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to announce plans to punish middle-class (which in Britain refers to the wealthier professional, university-educated class) drugs users, including confiscating their driving licences and passports.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Prime Minister Johnson said he was looking at “new ways” of penalising hard drugs abusers — “things that will actually interfere with their lives so we will look at taking away passports and driving licences.”
Two Drug Dealer Arrests and 17 Narcotics Crimes at Parliament Last Year: Report https://t.co/sHsiCFqx0P
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 14, 2021