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Tories On A High: Top Conservatives Who Admitted To Casual Drug Use

Written by on December 6, 2021

Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove

The government has announced a crackdown on drug use in the UK which will target both serious addicts and casual users.

The new ten-year plan could even see so-called “lifestyle users” lose their passports or driving licences, as prime minister Boris Johnson has vowed to crack down on drugs which are “bad for society”.

However, ministers have set themselves up for difficulty.

Not only were traces of cocaine found in 11 places in parliament according to a Sunday Times investigation, but top Tories have themselves admitted to taking drugs casually in the past.

Here are all the top drug-related admissions from people still working as MPs for the Conservative Party.

Prime minister Boris Johnson

The prime minister has had some complicated replies to questions about drug consumption over the years.

During an appearance on the satirical BBC show Have I Got News For You in 2005, the then-backbencher said: “I think I was once given cocaine, but I sneezed and so it did not go up my nose.

“In fact, I may have been doing icing sugar.”

He later admitted in a 2007 GQ interview that he had tried cocaine at university, explaining: “I tried it at university and I remember it vividly.

“It achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever.”

In the same interview he said: “There was a period before university when I had quite a few spliffs.”

In 2008, he was asked about these comments and said: “Well, that was when I was 19. It all goes to show that, sometimes, it’s better not to say anything.”

Just days after that he said: “To say that I have taken cocaine is simply untrue.

“As I have said many times, I was once at university offered a white substance, none of which went up my nose and I have no idea whether it was cocaine or not.”

Johnson has admitted to smoking cannabis in the past

Levelling-up secretary Michael Gove

Back in 2019 when he was a contender for the Tory leadership, Gove said: “I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago.

“At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that.”

He later said: “I did take drugs. It is something I deeply regret. Drugs damage lives. They are dangerous and it was a mistake.”

Justice secretary and deputy PM Dominic Raab

Raab told The Times: “Put it this way, anything sufficiently naughty, I wouldn’t confess.”

Raab has previously admitted: “At university, I tried cannabis, not very often as I was into sport.

“It was a mistake, particularly the more I know now about the link between it and mental health issues.

“But it was a long time ago and was particularly few and far between and I have never taken cocaine or any class A drugs.”

Raab has admitted to trying cannabis

Ex-health secretary Matt Hancock

A source close to the former health secretary told The Telegraph: ”[He] tried cannabis a few times as a student but has not taken any illicit drugs since.”

Ex-foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt

The current chair of the health and social care select committee previously told The Times: “I think I had a cannabis lassi when I was backpacking through India.”

Ex-business secretary Andrea Leadsom

Leadsom, who has run to become Tory leader twice, previously told The Independent: “I have never taken or class A drugs. Everyone is entitled to a private life before becoming an MP. I smoked weed at university and have never smoked it again since.”

Ex-work and pensions secretary Esther McVey

She admitted she had “tried some pot” when she was “much younger” when she was running for Tory leadership.


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