MPs are debating the report stage and third reading of the psychoactive substances bill today, with a series of amendments from MPs on exempting poppers from the ban on legal highs (more on why the Tories might want to do that here), and one intriguing one from a group of Tory MPs on supplying drugs outside children’s homes.
This amendment, tabled by Kit Malthouse, and signed by 11 other Tory MPs, all from the new intake, would make supplying psychoactive substance an aggravated offence if committed within 100 metres of a children’s home. Malthouse says he is ‘in discussions with ministers’, but it is my understanding that ministers don’t plan to support the amendment, and it has largely been tabled to make a point about legal protections for children that the MPs in question hope will get picked up in a future bill.
Malthouse says the amendments are ‘important because they are sending a message to the government from and my colleagues that we think in forthcoming legislation such as a criminal justice bill, they might need to look carefully at crimes against children. My view is that certain provisions related to these offences are not sufficient enough.’ It’s an interesting example of the new intake of MPs trying to make their mark in Parliament by pushing ministers a little during legislative debates.
These are the MPs who’ve signed the amendment:
Dr Tania Mathias