Britain’s most senior police officer Cressida Dick reveals she personally looked into drug admissions made by Tory leadership hopefuls to see if there was anything to investigate
- Seven Tory leadership candidates admitted taking drugs in their past
- Met Police chief says she looked into their admissions to see if there was a case
- But she says there was not enough evidence and CPS would not have taken it up
Britain’s most senior police officer has said she personally looked at drug admissions made by the contenders for the Conservative Party leadership but there would not be enough evidence to bring charges.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told radio station LBC such action would not be in the public interest and the events took place too long ago for there to be sufficient evidence.
Michael Gove admitted that he took cocaine on a number of occasions more than 20 years ago, while Boris Johnson said he thought he had been offered it once, but he sneezed so that it did not go up his nose.
Cressida Dick said she looked into admissions of drug taking by Tory leadership contenders but there was not enough evidence to bring cases to court
Rory Stewart said he had smoked opium in Iran 15 years ago, while Jeremy Hunt said he drank a cannabis lassi while backpacking in India.
Ms Dick said: ‘We have had a very quick look at all the things that have been in the public domain.
‘You have to satisfy two things. Firstly is there evidence and secondly, the CPS would have to decide would it be in the public interest to take any action.
‘Of course with things being so historic, it’s almost certainly not in the public interest but actually in the cases that we have read about, and I’m not talking about any of them specifically, but in all those cases there is no sign that there would be sufficient evidence.’
She said she had personally looked at the information available and considered it on the basis of law and advice given in previous cases by the Crown Prosecution Service.
‘I looked at it myself,’ Ms Dick told host Nick Ferrari.
‘I just said to my team, somebody’s going to ask me the exact question. I think I know the answer but let’s just double check.
‘The answer is on the basis of what we know, on what we’ve seen, there is no sign whatsoever that there would be sufficient evidence to take somebody to court, so we won’t be doing any investigating.’
Michael Gove took cocaine ‘on several occasions’ when he was a journalist 20 years ago. Rory Stewart confessed that he smoked opium at an Iranian wedding 15 years ago.
Andrea Leadsom and Matt Hancock confessed to smoking cannabis at university, but both denied ever taking Class A drugs.
Met chief backs neighbours calling police following Boris Johnson domestic row
Cressida Dick was today questioned over the actions of Boris Johnson’s neighbours in calling police to a row at his girlfriend’s flat last week.
Officers were called in by neighbours of Carrie Symonds after they heard smashing plates and raised voices.
They recorded some of the row and the recording was later given to The Guardian newspaper.
Ms Dick refused to comment on the specific case, but said: ‘I think it is important that people call the police when they are worried about somebody, of course.’
Asked about whether the neighbours were right to record the argument, she replied: ‘I don’t have a view on that.
‘It can be helpful if there is evidence of a crime that we had some sort of recording, that can be very helpful.’
She was then asked about whether it was right that the recording had been leaked to a newspaper.
She replied: ‘In an incident where we have been called because somebody is worried about somebody else and we get there and both parties are fine and there are no offences revealed, we would not put that into the public domain.’
The Metropolitan Police chief said she would not be making any similar confession as ‘I have never, ever taken any drugs at all’.
Turning to an incident where a neighbour of Mr Johnson’s called police over a row between the politician and his girlfriend, the senior officer said she had ‘no view’ on whether people should make recordings of their neighbours in such circumstances.
‘I think it is important that people call the police when they’re worried about somebody, of course. That’s as far as it goes,’ she said.
‘I’m a police officer and we ask people to tell us if they’re worried about somebody.
‘It can be helpful for us if there is evidence of a crime, of course, that we’re then going to be investigating, if somebody has made some sort of recording that can be very helpful.’
But she said in an instance where both parties were fine and no crime had been committed, the force would not have released the recording to the media.
The recording of the row between Mr Johnson and Carrie Symonds was passed to the Guardian newspaper.
‘In an incident where we have been called because somebody is worried about somebody else, and when we get there both parties are fine and there are no offences, we would not put that into the public domain.’
Dominic Raab (left) has previously admitted to smoking cannabis as a student. Jeremy Hunt (right) has previously admitted he drank a cannabis-infused smoothie while travelling as a young man.
Boris Johnson previous said he tried to snort a line of cocaine but sneezed
What did the Tory leadership hopefuls say about drug taking?
Michael Gove took cocaine ‘on several occasions’ when he was a journalist 20 years ago.
He said: ‘I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago.
‘At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’.
‘It was 20 years ago and, yes, it was a mistake. But I don’t believe that past mistakes disqualify you.’
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously admitted he drank a cannabis-infused smoothie while travelling as a young man.
He said: ‘I think I had a cannabis lassi when I went backpacking through India.’
Boris Johnson flip-flopped on the issue, telling the Sunday Times he had not taken drugs, ‘not to my knowledge’.
He previous said he tried to snort a line of cocaine but sneezed.
Mr Johnson said: ‘I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed and so it did not go up my nose. In fact, I may have been given icing sugar.’
He told GQ magazine in 2007: ‘I tried it at university and I remember it vividly. And it achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever.’
Andrea Leadsom admitted smoking the drug while at Warwick University in the 1990s but insisted she had never taken a class A drug like cocaine.
In an interview with the Independent she said: ‘Everyone is entitled to a private life before becoming an MP.
‘I smoked weed at university and have never smoked it again since.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confessed that he had smoked cannabis at university, but denied ever taking Class A drugs.
He said: ‘I have never taken cocaine. But I feel very strongly that everyone has a right to a private life and Michael Gove should not be hounded over something he did 20 years ago.’
Aides admitted the Health Secretary ‘smoked cannabis a few times as a student but had not taken any illicit drugs since.’
Aid Secretary Rory Stewart confessed that he smoked opium at an Iranian wedding 15 years ago.
He said: ‘It was something that was very wrong, I made a stupid mistake.’
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has previously admitted to smoking cannabis as a student.
But he told Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘I’ve never taken cocaine or any other Class A drugs. I think Class A drugs are a bit different.’