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UK: Culture of drug abuse to be investigated and sniffer dogs employed on the parliamentary estate

Poppy sits in Speakers chair

UK NEWS AND COMMENT: It’s been mooted that sniffer dogs are to be deployed across the parliamentary estate in a crackdown on drug abuse by MPs and their staff and ancillary workers. The Speaker has promised to call in the police because there is growing evidence of cocaine and other illegal substance abuse at Parliament. Cocaine seems to be the drug of choice and it’s been detected in a number of places which are accessible only by people with parliamentary passes.

Poppy sits in Speakers chair

Poppy sits in Speakers chair. Photo: UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLOR

The Sunday Times reports that cannabis can be smelt in the open between portcullis House and 1 Parliament Street. Drug dealers have been arrested and 13 people were detained for drugs possession around or on the parliamentary estate over a 12-month period.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, lives with a companion dog whose name is Poppy. She is a trained weapons detection dog who has been honoured for her role during the 2017 terrorist attack on Borough market. Parliament needs drug sniffer dogs 😕 .

Lindsay Hoyle has long held the belief that Parliament has a drug problem. When he was in the running to replace John Bercow, he said at that time there was a drug problem.

A Westminster veteran said: “There is a cocaine culture in Parliament. Some people are at it all the time and are totally blasé. Others dabble. Some are household names, some are ambitious young MPs and officials, but all of them risk throwing away their careers. They think they are untouchable, protected by their friends in the bubble. It’s shocking but also sad. Lots of them need help.”

Dogs sniff out the coronavirus

Sniffer dog. Photo: University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover

The Sunday Times reports that scores of MPs, peers, special advisers, researchers and staff have shared their stories of drug abuse in these esteemed corridors of power but they’ve insisted upon their anonymity.

On one occasion an MP was seen openly snorting cocaine at a party according to one of these sources. There were journalists present and he was warned that what he was doing was extremely dangerous but the source said that they “seemed to get off on the power trip.”

There’s lots of police officers on the parliamentary estate. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader said that the police on the estate should enforce the law using all the tools at their disposal. They apparently do not. If you can smell cannabis wafting across the estate then I think it’s fair to say that the police aren’t doing enough.

A House of Common’s spokesperson reiterated that Parliament takes the issue of substance misuse very seriously and any allegation of criminal behaviour should be investigated and is for the Metropolitan police to handle. There lies the problem. Not only is there a culture of drug abuse on the parliamentary estate there is also a culture of turning a blind eye to drug abuse by the Metropolitan police! They effectively legalized cannabis many years ago. They rarely investigate or prosecute.

They need to employ a sniffer dog or two on the estate to track down the miscreants and chuck them out of Parliament. That’s what I and I am sure a lot of the public would like to see. There’s no place for MPs who preach one thing and do something else.

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