Cannabis lassi, cocaine: The past drug use of UK PM hopefuls

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart has apologised for smoking opium at a wedding in Iran

Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "I do have a profound sense of regret about it all and I am very, very aware of the damage that drugs do".

Another hopeful is worldwide development secretary Rory Stewart, who once hiked across Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal.

Mr Gove, 51, insisted his past mistakes should not be held against him as he battles to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

Last time Mr Gove, 51, travelled to the U.S. was in January of 2017 to interview Donald Trump before his inauguration.

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"But it was a long time ago and was particularly few and far between and I have never taken cocaine or any class A drugs".

And Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt - another candidate - told the Times he had drunk a cannabis lassi while backpacking through India. At the time I was a young journalist.

"One of the things I also completely agree with is that the drug trade is wrong, that drugs wreck lives and that's one of the reasons why I sought, in office, to try to help people to move away from that". I think anyone can read the article and make their own minds up. Certainly when I was working as a journalist I didn't imagine I would go into politics or public service.

"The question now is that people should look at my record as a politician and ask themselves 'is this person we see ready to lead now?'", he said. "I didn't act with an eye to that", he added.

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"Obviously it will be for my colleagues in parliament and members of the Conservatives Party to decide now if I should be leader", he added.

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

May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday, officially triggering a contest to replace her that could see her party embrace a tougher stance on Brexit. It was a mistake, particularly the more I know now about the link between it and mental health issues.

Gove's admission comes ahead of the release of a book about him by Owen Bennett entitled Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry, which details Gove telling Tory advisers that he had used cocaine during the 2016 Tory leadership contest.

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Now it seems to have been proven as the race to become the next Conservative prime minister sees an avalanche of mea culpas on past drug use.

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