THE safe drugs consumption space approved for Glasgow will not work to push down deaths, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has claimed.

The Tory leader told STV that the proposals for a centre in Scotland’s largest city did not have the support of the UK Government as he claimed it would risk condoning the use of illegal drugs.

The safe consumption facility on Huntly Street in the east end was approved by the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board (IJB), which is made up of NHS and council officials, on Wednesday.

The green light came after Scotland’s Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC announced it would not be in the “public interest” to prosecute users of such a facility.

Sunak opposed the move, but said he respected Bain’s decision.

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He told STV: “From a UK Government perspective, we’re not supportive of them because we think they condone use of drugs and there’s no safe amount of drug usage.

“When it comes to what’s going on in Scotland, we respect the independence of the [Lord Advocate] in Scotland and obviously that is a policy for them to put in place.

“I think they’ve said a blanket ban would be unlawful but if they decide to not prosecute in particular cases, that is a decision we will respect.

“We disagree with drug consumption rooms elsewhere because we think they condone illegal drug use and that’s not something we think is right.”

Asked if he thought the space would work as intended, Sunak responded: “We think they condone illegal drug use and that’s what they run the risk of doing.”

No person using a safe consumption space to take drugs has ever died from an overdose.

SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart (below) said the Tory government’s approach had been “shameful”.

The National:

Speaking at FMQs in Holyrood on Thursday, Stewart noted that instead of working collaboratively with the Scottish Government to progress the measure, the UK Government would only “not stand in its way”.

The First Minister said in response: “The easiest way to have had such a facility up and running would have been of course if the Home Office had given their approval… “I would urge [the UK Government] to take a public health approach to this issue.”

Commenting later, Stewart said: “Far too many lives in Scotland are still being lost to drug misuse, and we need direct, bold and courageous thinking if we want to turn the tide on these statistics. While the most recent drugs deaths statistics showed a small improvement, much work is still urgently needed.

“For years now the SNP has called for safe consumption facilities, so that people who use illicit drugs can do so in a safe and supervised environment, which removes the stigma that so often prevents people from accessing the help they need.

“The UK Government should strongly reconsider its shameful approach to this issue – instead of just ‘not standing in its way’ – they should engage with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and campaigners to work to make this a success so that lives can literally be saved.”