THE First Minister is to meet with the drugs safety activist who has been running his consumption van in Glasgow.

Peter Krykant’s meeting with Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take place on January 7, just days before the First Minister chairs a meeting of the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce.

Sturgeon has previously said that meeting will look at what "immediate steps" could be taken to combat the record-high drug deaths recorded in this year’s figures.

As such, a meeting with Krykant may signal governmental intent to set up official safe consumption spaces for drug users in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has been calling for a change in legislation to allow for safe consumption rooms in recent years, hoping to reduce the number of drug-related deaths and illnesses.

However, the Home Office has repeatedly refused to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act to allow any centre to move forward.

READ MORE: Scotland is drug death capital of the world, here's how we can shed that title

In February 2020 UK crime minister Kit Malthouse called safe consumption spaces a “distraction”, claiming a more “assertive approach” was needed to tackle the issue.

If the SNP were to bring in safe consumption spaces, it would then herald a clash with Westminster. However, Boris Johnson has recently promised to look at the party’s proposals “one more time”, despite adding that he thought Holyrood already had sufficient powers to tackle the crisis.

A meeting with Krykant also heralds a shift in position from the SNP Government. Former minister Joe FitzPatrick claimed it would be “inappropriate” to meet with Krykant given his current controversial police charge for operating his safe consumption van in Glasgow.

Krykant was charged with obstructing officers after he refused to let them enter his van and search the three people inside. They later agreed to be searched and no drugs were found.

FitzPatrick later resigned after Scotland recorded 1264 drug deaths in 2019, the worst year ever. The figure gives Scotland the worst rate in Europe.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart: Scotland must do more in drug crisis, but Westminster is in way

Angela Constance, the former cabinet secretary for communities, social security and equalities, will be brought in to replace FitzPatrick in the newly created role of Drugs Policy Minister.

Krykant welcomed the move, saying that with “a 100 per cent focus on drug policy, we can quickly change the trajectory of these tragic, preventable deaths”

He added: “Scotland’s drug deaths are devastating – each life lost is someone’s someone.

"What we can all agree, whatever our political stance, is that this must change.

“Since starting the overdose prevention site, we have supervised 118 injections and saved two lives already. We could save so many more.”