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Drug Safety Testing at Events

Volume 701: debated on Monday 18 October 2021

8. What recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of implementing drug safety testing for (a) festivals and (b) events in the night-time economy. (903762)

I echo the tributes to Sir Davis Amess and James Brokenshire, and send my commiserations to their friends and families.

Over a single weekend in Bristol this summer, one young person died and 20 others were hospitalised, leading to police warnings about a lethal batch of pills circulating in the city. It just is not enough for the Government to say, “Don’t do drugs”; that clearly does not work. Will the Government work with organisations such as The Loop, which provides testing, or provide their own drugs testing service as the Welsh Government have been doing since 2014? That is the only way that they are going to save lives.

We are obviously all distressed to hear the news from Bristol. Any life lost to drugs is obviously to be mourned. Anyone interested in lawfully undertaking activities that include the possession, supply or production of controlled drugs, including through the course of drug testing services, can already apply to the Home Office for a domestic licence, and they will be subject to the usual visits and considerations about the activities that they undertake. I understand the hon. Lady’s implication that we should look at this subject in the round. It is our hope that we will publish later this year a comprehensive, cross-Government strategy on drugs in the round, including on their impact and what we can do about them.