A NORTH-EAST police chief has waded into the row over admissions of drug taking by potential candidates in the Tory leadership race, accusing them of hypocrisy.

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has called for a review of drug policy, after more Government ministers admit to having taken drugs.

He said: “Government ministers who are expressing regret about taking drugs in the past should recognise the hypocrisy of their position when they argue that drugs policy is working. Only by reform will we be in a position to reduce the harm caused by drugs.”

He spoke out after the admissions this weekend of the use of illegal drugs by contenders for the position of Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party.

He said the current exposure of drug-taking by senior national politicians highlights the need for a national debate on drug policy reform.

He said: “Government policy is allowing powerful, faceless drug dealers to control the supply of drugs, using threatening and harmful behaviour. This is likely to continue unless we can take the power out of the hands of the dealers.”

He added: “What’s needed is a health-focussed approach, so that drug users feel able to speak to their GP and take advice, rather than fearing that they will be reported for criminal behaviour. That would remove control by the dealers and enable sensible regulation of the drugs market by the state.”

Mr Hogg concluded: “Only by reform will we be in a position to reduce the harm caused by drugs.”