Remember when former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko claimed on live TV that he used to sneak into a toilet at Parliament buildings to smoke bhang alongside ex-Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu?
Well, it appears that substances abuse is also a thing among lawmakers in the British Parliament. Reports indicate that bhang (cannabis) and cocaine is being used openly at Westminster.
Last week, the Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle vowed to crack down on the vice after traces of cocaine were detected in a number of places accessible only to people with parliamentary passes.
This could see sniffer dogs deployed across the parliamentary estate under plans for drugs crackdown.
According to Conservative Party MP Charles Walker, who chairs the administration committee, the issue will be discussed in Parliament this 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.”
Cannabis could be smelt within Parliament
In November, Parliament officials received reports that bhang could be smelt in open space between Portcullis House and 1 Parliament Street.
This year alone, two drug dealers have been arrested and 13 people detained for drugs possession on or around the parliamentary estate.
Prime Minister on fresh cocaine crackdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as reported by The Times, is preparing to launch a fresh crackdown on middle-class cocaine users, in a bid to end the perception that some people can take class A drugs without consequences.
“Boris Johnson is understood to be drawing up plans to ‘make an example’ out of high-profile middle-class offenders. The maximum sentence for any individual caught in possession is seven years in prison,” the British outlet reports.
Evidence of cocaine was traced in the lavatories near PM Johson and the home secretary’s private offices.
The evidence was also traced in the disabled bathroom on the shadow cabinet corridor in Norman Shaw North and in the accessible lavatory on the oak-panelled committee corridor next to the office of Nick Thomas-Symonds, the former shadow home secretary.
The tests were all carried out on the same evening using cocaine detection wipes, which are more often used in nightclubs and bars to identify and minimise onsite drugs consumption. The white wipes turn blue if cocaine is present.
The Speaker is, however, worried that there is a drug problem in Parliament, with scores of MPs, special advisers, researchers and staff sharing stories of drug abuse on condition of anonymity.
“I have seen an MP openly snorting cocaine at a party,” a source told The Times. “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.”