This government’s drug policy is letting down the people Labour is set up to represent.
Whether it’s children being exploited by dealers to sell heroin on our estates, BAME people being disproportionately imprisoned for possessing cannabis, or treatment services struggling under the weight of austerity, it’s the most vulnerable who are bearing the brunt of the UK’s failed drug policies.
With governments around the world moving to harm reduction policies, and organisations such as the British Medical Journal to the Royal College of Physicians supporting reform here in the UK, we believe it’s time for Labour members to have a voice on how we approach this complex policy issue.
Launch of the Campaign
On July 10th, Labour members will come together to launch the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform. This group seeks to provide a forum for discussion for Labour members to debate and shape Labour's drug policy for the future. There are no policy prescriptions, only a belief that the status quo isn’t working.
We’ll be joined on the night by a highly qualified panel of experts who are all members of the Labour Party and who will introduce some of the issues around drugs policy:
Professor Fiona Measham Professor of Criminology at the University of Durham
Dr Prun Bijral, Medical Director at Change, Grow, Live
David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner of the West Midlands
Artin Giles, Chair of London Young Labour
Thangam Debbonaire MP
Thangam was elected as the Labour MP for Bristol West in 2015. She studied contemporarily cello at the Royal College of Music and Mathematics at the University of Oxford, before gaining an M.Sc in Management, Development and Social Responsibility at the University of Bristol.
Thangam moved to St Werburghs, Bristol, in 1991 to work as a National Children’s Officer for the Women's Aid Federation of England, position she held until 1998. Before becoming an MP, she worked as National Research Manager for Respect, an anti-domestic violence organisation, co-authored two books and a number of papers about domestic violence and became trustee of the University of Bristol Students’ Union.
Jeff Smith MP
Jeff has been MP for Manchester Withington since May 2015, and serves as an Opposition Whip. He was born and raised in south Manchester and gained a degree from the University of Manchester. After university, he worked as an event manager and DJ at festivals and clubs across the country.
Prior to becoming an MP, Jeff was a local Councillor in Manchester Withington’s Old Moat ward for 18 years, serving as the Council's Executive Member for Education and Children’s Services and Executive Member for Finance. Away from politics, Jeff is a lifelong Manchester City season ticket holder and takes every opportunity he can to see Bruce Springsteen in concert.