Illegal drugs being used in British Parliament buildings: report

Asia's Tech News Daily

Traces of cocaine have been found at several sites in the U.K. Parliament in London in areas accessible only to people with parliamentary passes, The Sunday Times reported.

Cocaine was detected in multiple locations, including bathrooms near the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office and those of Home Secretary Priti Patel, the U.K. newspaper said.

Drug residue was also found close to rooms utilized by the opposition Labour Party, as well as a dining room in the House of Lords and an exclusive pub in Westminster called the Strangers' Bar, according to The Washington Post.

House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said he was contacting police over the revelations that were published by the U.K. newspaper.

“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 this week,” Hoyle said in a statement to the BBC.

“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,” he added.

The newspaper said drug detection wipes found traces of cocaine in 11 of the 12 locations that were tested. Those locations were only accessible to lawmakers, their staff and journalists, who are all accredited.

The Sunday Times said cannabis was also “being used openly” within the vicinity of the Parliament.

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

The Sunday Times report comes as Johnson announced a new 10-year plan to hold drug offenders responsible and get tougher on crime.

“Drugs are a toxic scourge on our society,” Johnson wrote in a tweet. “We're going to clamp down on the county lines drugs gangs with £300 million of funding and invest in rehabilitation to help problem drug users get their lives back on track.”

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