Michael Gove confronted about his cocaine use after ban on laughing gas is announced
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Michael Gove has been confronted about his past cocaine use after the government announced that it would be banning laughing gas, otherwise known as nitrous oxide.
You've probably seen evidence of laughing gas use before, those little metal canisters littering the ground probably contained them, and the government is set to announce a plan which will allow the prosecution of people found to possess nitrous oxide in public.
Front and centre of this announcement is Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, but he has been confronted with accusations of hypocrisy over the ban on laughing gas.
Gove was confronted on Sophy Ridge on Sunday given that he has admitted to taking cocaine in the past and was asked whether it was right to punish people for taking drugs when Gove himself had admitted to drug use in the past.
She asked Gove: "Are you really going to give people a criminal record for taking laughing gas?"
Gove insisted that the government had to deal with the 'scourge' of drugs and said they would not be following guidance from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which had recommended against banning laughing gas.
He replied: "We want to make sure that we deal with the scourge, and it is the case that we need to be clear that there are types of activity that cause distress to others in public and it's unacceptable.
"Of course it's absolutely right that we uphold the law in this case. Yes the advisory committee have offered their advice but ultimately it's ministers who are responsible."
"We believe collectively it's absolutely vital that we deal with this scourge, and in the same way."
Ridge then asked him whether it was 'a bit hypocritical' for politicians who'd admitted to taking drugs in the past to impose tighter restrictions on drugs on the public.
Gove insisted that it wasn't, saying it was alright for him to crack down on drugs 'because I've learned' that it was 'a mistake, worse than a mistake to regard drug taking as somehow acceptable'.
The politician has previously said he was 'fortunate' not to have gone to prison for his past cocaine use.
Drug policy charities have criticised the move to ban laughing gas with Release saying the move from the government 'has nothing to do with preventing harms or protecting young people'.
It was welcomed by the National Police Chiefs Council, with chief constable Richard Lewis saying officers 'would welcome the ability to seize and dispose of nitrous oxide' as well as potentially 'carry out arrests'.