“MPs as the authors of laws around drug use should be held to a higher standard in their public life.”

Traces of cocaine were found in 11 out of 12 toilets tested on the Houses of Parliament estate in early December, a day before the government announced its latest plans for a crackdown on drug use in the UK.

The findings prompted Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, to ask the police to launch an investigation into cocaine use in Westminster amid growing evidence of widespread Class A drug use.

“I haven’t personally seen drug-taking on the Parliamentary estate.” Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing, Southall, told us.

“I did not believe people working here would be taking drugs in Parliament. ‘Findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) showed that around 1 in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years had taken a drug in the last year’, I expect any investigation would find a similar picture in Parliament since MPs and others working here are normal people like everyone else.”

Photo from: UK Parliament

Last week, the government launched a 10-year plan to tackle illegal drug related crimes.

According to the government website, the plan “sets out 3 core priorities: break drug supply chains, deliver a world-class treatment and recovery system, and achieve a shift in the demand for recreational drugs.”

The Prime Minister told the Sun on Sunday some of the measures will be designed to target “middle class” users to act as a “deterrent for well-off professionals who peddle coke at swanky clubs and dinner parties.”

He also suspects some politicians have been afraid of acting against drugs for fear of being asked about their own past experiences, though the traces of Class A drugs found in Parliament bathrooms may suggest that the issue is still very much in the present for some parliamentary workers.

Passive Drugs Dog Patrols

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

The Prime Minister wants to hit them where it hurts and create punishments that will affect wealthy users of recreational drugs that include “removal of passports and driving licenses” from perpetrators and “football-style travel bans.”

It would seem an unfortunate twist that this new plan to crack down on drug use nationwide would be marred by the controversy of widespread drug use in the Houses of Parliament.

Sharma says: “MPs as the authors of laws around drug use should be held to a higher standard in their public life.”

Though it remains to be seen what any investigation demanded by Lord Hoyle will find or whether anyone suspected of using Class A drugs in Parliament will too be subjected to the new harsher punishments laid out by the Government’s own strategy.

Do you think that MPs found to be using Class A drugs losing their jobs is a fitting enough punishment, or should they receive prison sentences? Let us know in the comments or on our Twitter poll below.