SCOTTISH Conservative politicians have been accused of “inflaming” the abuse aimed at one of Scotland’s most prominent drugs reform campaigners.

Peter Krykant, who made headlines for piloting a safe consumption space in a converted ambulance in Glasgow, accused Tory MSPs of using “false information” to stoke tensions around drug reform.

The heated row started after Murdo Fraser, the Scots Conservatives’ business spokesperson, suggested that anyone who backed the Scottish Government’s proposals for decriminalisation of personal drug use was “ignorant”.

READ MORE: Peter Krykant: Scotland must act on drug deaths even if the UK won’t

Sharing a front page from the Daily Record, Fraser wrote on Twitter: “Anyone who thinks that decriminalising drugs instead of investing in rehabilitation and recovery is going to save lives is either ignorant of the issues, or simply lying.”

The Record front page quoted Krykant as saying the UK Government – which quickly moved to oppose the reform proposal – didn’t “give a damn about people dying from drugs”.

Other Scottish Tories also spoke out against the idea of decriminalising drug use, wrongly conflating it with legalisation.

Holyrood group leader Douglas Ross said: “This is reckless, dangerous and naive. Legalising class-A drugs will not help tackle the SNP's drug death crisis.”

And Tory MSP Russell Findlay said the Scottish Government “should improve treatment service NOT make heroin and crack legal and give a green light to organised crime”.

Krykant told The National: “They are falsely saying that the Scottish Government wants to legalise heroin and crack.

“The false information that they have put out is inflaming the situation and making it difficult for people like me who have decades of experience losing family and friends. It’s really, really difficult.

“The comments and things that I have to put up with is absolutely disgraceful and they are inflaming the situation.”

READ MORE: Andrew Tickell: Drugs policy is broken, but does Scotland have the power to change it?

Decriminalisation of drug use means that the practice remains illegal, but criminal charges will generally not be used as a punishment. Instead, civil penalties such as referral to a rehabilitation programme may replace criminal sanctions.

Writing on Twitter on Monday, Krykant said he would be taking a break from the social media platform after a “torrent of abuse” over his support for decriminalisation.

“Make no mistake inflamed by @Douglas4Moray @RussellFindlay1 @murdo_fraser et al,” he added.

Responding on social media, Fraser claimed he had never heard of Krykant and denied having impacted on the abuse levelled against him.

The Tory MSP wrote: “I have never heard of this man and have never engaged with him on social media.

“I am truly sorry if he is getting abuse but the suggestion that I am in any way responsible for it is as ludicrous as it is defamatory. I suggest he deletes this slur forthwith.”

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan was among those questioning how Fraser had never heard of Krykant given his public profile as one of Scotland’s most prominent campaigners on drug reform.

“The fact that you have never heard of @PeteKrykant_OPC and opine about drug policy in Scotland says it all,” Cowan wrote.

The National: Peter Krykant and drug consumption van at Parnie Street, Glasgow..Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital images © Gibson Digital 2020. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the

Responding to Fraser, Queen’s University Belfast lecturer Dr Gillian Shorter shared an evaluation she worked on of “the United Kingdom's first unsanctioned overdose prevention site”, which Krykant (above) ran.

She said his “approach saved lives and improved health in Glasgow”, and offered to answer any of the Tory’s questions.

And Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, who has worked closely with Krykant, added: “Perhaps you should pay more attention to those who have literally saved the lives of people who would otherwise have died of a fatal overdose?”

A search of Holyrood’s official report shows that Fraser has been present in the parliament’s chamber while Krykant was mentioned on at least two occasions.

READ MORE: Tories turn drug deaths into ‘joke’ with Nicola Sturgeon attack ad, says campaigner

The campaigner told The National: “For Murdo Fraser to say that he doesn’t know who I am. He is seemingly an MSP who sits in the parliament. Has he never listened?

“Paul Sweeney, Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Cole-Hamilton. They’ve all spoken about what I’ve done. That newspaper he shared had my name on it!”

Krykant added: “Some of the mistakes that the SNP have made have been brutal but in my opinion it [the new proposal] makes complete sense. Decriminalisation is a logical response to what’s going on in the UK right now – it isn’t just in Scotland.

“The simple reality is that if we stop wasting money on criminalising people, we can spend it to support and help people rather than punish them.”

The Scottish Tories have been approached for comment.