Political news

Colum Eastwood: Yes I smoked cannabis and yes I inhaled

Colum Eastwood admitted to smoking cannabis in the past. Picture by Michael McHugh/PA Wire

LEADER of the SDLP Colum Eastwood has admitted to smoking cannabis when he was younger.

Mr Eastwood was the only one of five party leaders to say he had used drugs.

Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Féin), Arlene Foster (DUP), Robin Swann (UUP), Naomi Long (Alliance) and Jim Allister (TUV) all told the Belfast Telegraph they had never dabbled in illicit substances.

Green Party leader Clare Bailey could not be contacted.

Mr Eastwood replied: “Yes I did and yes I inhaled.”

The father-of-two said the focus of the drugs debate should be on its harmful effects on society here.

“We have people forced into despair, their mental health damaged by the impact of drug, alcohol and substance addiction,” he said.

“Without an executive or a health minister we’re paralysed and unable to provide the comprehensive care and support that people really suffering in our communities need.”

The disclosure follows several high-profile British politicians admitting to using drugs. This was sparked by Tory leader hopeful Michael Gove’s revelation that he had taken cocaine 20 years ago.

Ian Knox cartoon 11/6/19: Rather like the Monty Python 'Four Yorkshire men' sketch, the Tory party leadership hopefuls, embark on a competitive campaign to establish who smoked or snorted most in their youth 

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