LABOUR’S Anas Sarwar has been accused of “flipping his principles” after he U-turned and backed Westminster control of Scottish drug laws.

The Scottish Labour group leader said on Thursday that he believed it was “right we have consistency” and defended the UK Government keeping control over drugs policy.

But the SNP have highlighted how, in 2021, Sarwar had called for the devolution of drugs powers to Holyrood to help combat the drugs deaths crisis.

The Scottish Government has called for policies such as safe consumption spaces and decriminalisation to be brought in north of the Border in an effort to drive down the number of Scots losing their lives to drugs. However, the UK Government has consistently stood in the way.

READ MORE: SNP hit back after Labour peer calls Scottish Government 'elected dictatorship'

On Thursday, the Home Affairs Committee of MPs recommended allowing Scotland to pilot safe consumption spaces, but again the UK Government dismissed the idea out of hand.

Asked about the recommendation, Sarwar said: “Listen, I don't support the devolution of our drug laws because I think it's great to have consistency across the UK.

“But within that, I do add the caveat that the Lord Advocate has already indicated that we have opportunities in Scotland to do things differently.

“We have the opportunity to do drug consumption rooms or at least pilots for drug assumptions in Scotland without devolving the law, it's about a presumption against prosecution, for example, being one part around possession as it is for safe consumption rooms.”

But the SNP have accused Sarwar of flipping on his principles, pointing to a 2021 interview he did with STV where he called for drugs powers to be devolved.

Speaking to Colin Mackay on Scotland Tonight, Sarwar said: "In terms of devolution, I do want greater devolution."

He then claimed he wanted to see “more power being devolved … from Westminster to the nations and regions … for example on employment law, for example around drugs deaths”.

But, as well as Sarwar’s U-turn on calling for drugs laws to be devolved, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner ruled out the devolution of employment law in August.

READ MORE: Ex-top Scottish Labour official says UK party 'betraying' devolution

Commenting, SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart said: “The SNP government has consistently brought forward progressive policies to tackle Scotland’s drug issue – but time and time again Westminster has blocked any meaningful action.

“Anas Sarwar was once aware of this which is why he backed the devolution of drug powers, just two years ago.

“His latest in a long line of U-turns is evidence that once again Sarwar has buckled under pressure from his boss at Westminster.

“Anas Sarwar knows that the countless experts and campaigners, as well as the SNP government, who have long advocated for the use of safe consumption rooms in Scotland are right.

“But Scottish Labour has chosen to once again capitulate to Sir Keir Starmer instead of standing up for Scotland.

“Anyone who is happy to flip their principles as easily as Sarwar simply cannot be trusted.”