Esther McVey Latest Tory Leadership Candidate To Admit Having Previously Used Drugs

9 June 2019, 15:46 | Updated: 9 June 2019, 15:55

Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey
Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey. Picture: LBC

Conservative leadership hopeful Esther McVey has admitted to having previously smoked cannabis.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary has become the latest Tory leadership candidate to admit to having taken drugs, after Rory Stewart apologised for previously taking opium and Michael Gove saying he "deeply regrets" taking cocaine more than two decades ago.

Favourite to succeed Theresa May Boris Johnson admitted to GQ magazine that he tried cocaine and cannabis as a teenager, and later claimed on panel show Have I Got News For You that he sneezed when he took it.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Times he thought he tried a cannabis lassi whilst backpacking through India, adding it was "almost as naughty as wheatfields".

And asked by a reporter whether she 'smoked pot as a younger woman', Esther McVey replied: "Yes, that's right."

Andrea Leadsom also admitted to having smoked weed at university, but said she had "never smoked it again since".

She told the Independent she has "never taken cocaine or Class A drugs", adding that everybody is "entitled to a private life before becoming an MP".

"I smoked weed at university and have never smoked it again since."

But Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is also in the running to succeed Theresa May, said: "It doesn't matter if you're middle class or not, anyone that takes class-A drugs need to think about the supply chain and the number of lives that are destroyed along the way.

Rory Stewart said on LBC he would credit Michael Gove for being honest about having taken cocaine on "several occasions".

He told Matt Frei: "If someone asks them a question and they've done something wrong, they should answer the question directly and Michael's done that and I credit him for doing that."

More to follow...