Labour campaign for drug policy reform announce expert working group and ambassadors

The LCDPR, founded by MPs Jeff Smith & Thangam Debbonaire, have today announced new details of the campaign, including members of their Expert Working Group and voluntary Ambassadors.

The Campaign was set up to provide a forum for the Labour grassroots to debate and shape Labour’s drug policy for the future. Ambassadors have been appointed who will host Public Meetings across the UK, where Labour members and voters will be asked how they would like the Labour Party’s drug policy to be reformed.

The campaign will be visiting Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Southampton, Swansea & Wolverhampton with firm dates for each to be revealed in due course. Each meeting will be open to Labour members and voters and will be directed by a panel of local experts.

The Campaign’s Expert Working Group will be responsible for turning the findings from the Public Meetings into a concrete set of recommendations that will be presented for consideration to Labour front bench representatives.

The Expert Working Group will be chaired by Lord Falconer, who previously served as Secretary of State for Justice in Tony Blair’s Labour government. Other members of the group include Professor Fiona Measham, founder of the UK drug testing service, The Loop and Benjamin Twomey, former Policy Officer for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

The rest of the group is comprised of Mike Trace, CEO of Forward Trust, Chandni Hindocha of UCL Psychopharmacology Unit, Kate Halliday, Interim Executive Director of SMMGP/ FDAP & Liz McCoy, of the Pennine Trust NHS Foundation.

Lord Falconer, Chair of the Expert Working Group, speaking about the research he will head up, said:  ‘The role of the Expert Working Group is to objectively consider the findings of each Public Meeting and make policy recommendations based on the most salient solutions that emerge. The key driver of this campaign is our volunteer ambassadors and most importantly the voices of Labour members and voters.”

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, and co-founder of the LCDPR, said: ‘This campaign is an opportunity to engage in an important debate, using the experience and expertise of Labour party members and voters to build drug policies which fit with our values.

I’m encouraging all Labour members and voters to find their local event, share their views, and help shape our party’s policies for the future.’


Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, also co-founder of LCPDPR, stated ‘This campaign is about opening up the debates on drug policy to all Labour members and supporters and the people we aim to serve. We look forward to hearing views from across the country about the impacts of our current drug policies and how we, as Labour, want to change them, to help serve and protect people better. The recommendations will be created by Labour members to help develop clear Labour policies.’

Anthony Lehane