THE Speaker of the House of Commons is to raise accounts of drug use in the Westminster Parliament with the Metropolitan Police.

Lindsay Hoyle, who has acted as Commons speaker since the 2019 General Election, told the BBC he would speak to the police about reports in the Sunday Times.

An investigation by the paper tested 12 men’s, women’s, mixed, and disabled toilets across the Parliamentary estate for traces of cocaine on a single day. All but one returned a positive test.

All 12 of the toilets in question were available only to people with a parliamentary pass.

While running to be Speaker, Hoyle said that “there is a drug problem” at Westminster.

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The Sunday Times reported that “scores of MPs, peers, special advisers, researchers and staff” had spoken on the condition of anonymity about that drug culture in Parliament.

One source told the paper of an MP who had been “openly snorting cocaine at a party”, while there were further rumours of a parliamentarian dealing drugs themselves.

One veteran at Westminster said there was “a cocaine culture in parliament”.

They told the Sunday Times: “Some people are at it all the time and are totally blasé. Others dabble. Some are household names, some are ambitious young MPs and officials, but all of them risk throwing away their careers. They think they are untouchable, protected by their friends in the bubble.”

Sniffer dogs may be brought in to prevent people bringing drugs onto the parliamentary estate.

Conservative MP Charles Walker, who chairs Westminster’s administration committee and sits on the House of Commons Commission, said that the “long history” of using dogs to detect explosives may need to be expanded to include detection of drugs.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said he would be “surprised” if there were not users of illegal drugs in Parliament.

Asked if some of his own colleagues could be hit by proposals to remove the passports and driving licences of offenders, he told Sky News: “I hope not.

“There are obviously several thousand people who work on the estate and I would be surprised if there weren’t some lifestyle users of drugs amongst them.”

The LibDems’ leader, Ed Davey (below), called for a full inquiry into the “culture”.

“When thousands of young people are in prison for their drug use, it is outrageous that people are doing cocaine in parliament with impunity,” he said. “Government ministers cannot talk tough about illegal drugs while turning a blind eye to their mates.”

The National: Sir Ed Davey. Picture by UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Asked about the news on the BBC, Speaker Hoyle said he would be raising the reports with the Metropolitan Police “as a priority”.

He went on: “I expect to see full and effective enforcement of the law.

"While Parliament provides extensive support services for any staff or members who may need help with drug misuse - and I would encourage anyone struggling with such issues to take up such help - for those who choose to flout the law and bring the institution into disrepute the sanctions are serious."

The UK Government's website says that people found in possession of cocaine face "up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both".

The news comes as that same Metropolitan Police faces growing calls to investigate potential illegality in Christmas gatherings held on Downing Street in 2020, despite the events having been outlawed by the UK Government’s own Covid legislation.

While the Prime Minister has not denied reports that parties took place, the Government has contradicted itself in insisting all rules were followed.

Andrew Marr quizzed Justice Secretary Dominic Raab over the alleged incidents in a car crash interview on Sunday.