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Sniffer dogs are being used to crackdown Commons cocaine use.

Sniffer dogs are being used to combat Commons cocaine use.

Under plans for a drug crackdown, sniffer dogs might soon be deployed in parliament.

Following evidence that cocaine and other illegal substances are being used on the parliamentary estate, the Speaker has vowed to contact the police.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he would look into Westminster’s drug culture after traces of cocaine were discovered in a number of locations only accessible to those with parliamentary passes.

Charles Walker, a Tory MP and chair of the administration committee, told the Sunday Times that the issue would be discussed by a House of Commons commission next week.

The House of Commons has a long history of using sniffer dogs to detect explosives,” he said. “It may be that we now need to broaden the range of sniffer dogs . . . to include those which can detect drugs.”

According to the newspaper, casual cocaine use is common among a group of MPs. Detection wipes discovered drug evidence in 11 of the 12 locations tested in the building.

Cocaine was discovered in the toilets next to Boris Johnson’s and Priti Patel’s private offices, as well as in an accessible lavatory next to Nick Thomas-Symonds’, the former shadow home secretary’s office.

‘A drug problem exists.’
Staff at the Commons were reportedly alerted last month to the smell of cannabis in the area between Portcullis House and 1 Parliament Street, after it was revealed that two drug dealers had been arrested – and 13 people had been detained for possession on the estate – in the space of a year.

Hoyle said: “It’s not just drink we’ve got to catch out, there is a drug problem.”

One source told the Sunday Times: “I have seen an MP openly snorting cocaine at a party. There were journalists present and I warned them that what they were doing was extremely dangerous and they could be exposed but they seemed to get off on the power trip.”

Another source added: “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.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, said: “The palace of Westminster ought to be the bastion of lawfulness. There are a lot of police on the parliamentary estate who should enforce the law using all the tools at their disposal to stop drug dealing and drug abuse within the palace.”

Clampdown

It comes as Johnson prepares to launch a 10-year plan to combat illegal drug-related crime, which will include removing offenders’ passports and driving licences, according to reports.

The crackdown will also include travel bans similar to those used in football, harsher sentences for drug dealers, and measures to break up County Lines gangs.

According to the Sun, Boris Johnson will outline “record” funding for addiction treatment and recovery services, with additional funds promised for the 50 local authorities with the worst drug problems, including Middlesbrough, Blackpool, and Liverpool.

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