THE Home Office has “important questions” to answer on drugs legislation, according to the convener of the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster.

Pete Wishart has urged the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to tackle the “drugs epidemic” in Scotland.

Crime Minister Kit Malthouse and the Home Office’s crime director Dan Greaves will appear before MPs as the committee concludes its inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland.

The minister will be quizzed on current drugs legislation, which is reserved to Westminster, whether a more health-focused outlook would be better and the disagreements between the Scottish and UK Governments over a potential safer consumption facility in Glasgow.

Holyrood has been at loggerheads with the Home Office over the facility, which would need a legal waiver to allow drugs to be taken on site –something which has been rejected by Westminster.

Wishart said: “As we approach the end of our inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland, we have identified a number of important questions on the UK’s drug policy that the Home Office must answer.

“Scotland is facing a drugs epidemic with the tragic number of drug-related deaths in Scotland continuing to rise.

“Both Governments need to consider all options to address this crisis.”

He added: “Throughout our inquiry we have repeatedly heard evidence that a criminal justice approach to drugs has not worked and a public health approach is needed.

“This runs counter to the UK Government’s current policy, including ruling against the opening of a safe drug consumption facility in Glasgow.

“This session gives us an opportunity to put our evidence to the responsible minister and challenge the UK Government’s position.”

In the summer, the National Records of Scotland revealed 1187 people had died in 2018 due to drugs.

Last week, it was also reported that 551 people had died due to drugs between April and September this year.