DrugScope: David Nutt’s resignation is ‘extremely concerning’

DrugScope has described home secretary Alan Johnson’s decision to force the resignation of the government’s chief adviser on drugs misuse as “an extremely serious and concerning development”.

However, the drugs information charity declined to comment on whether its chief executive, Martin Barnes, would be considering his position on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, following the departure of Professor David Nutt.

Johnson’s decision to force Nutt’s resignation as council chair led two other members of the advisory body to step down in protest: Dr Les King, a former head of drug intelligence at the Forensic Science Service, and Marion Walker, director of the substance misuse service at Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

‘Raises serious questions’

DrugScope director of communications Harry Shapiro said: “The home secretary’s decision to force the resignation of the chair of an independent advisory body is an extremely serious and concerning development and raises serious questions about the means by which drug policy is informed and kept under review.”

Turning Point, whose chief executive Victor Adebowale also serves on the council, declined to comment on the resignations.

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust said Walker was serving on the council in a private capacity and “any views that she holds on the agency or its work is a completely private matter”.


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