The leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, Keir Starmer, stated that he has no plans to alter drug laws in the country if his party is victorious in the upcoming election.
During an interview with Anne McElvoy, the host of POLITICO’s newly launched Power Play podcast, opposition leader Starmer stated that while other countries may have different approaches, the Labour Party’s stance is firmly established and not a topic of significant debate.
However, there are some individuals within the party who have been advocating for exactly that.
In a recent episode of POLITICO’s Westminster Insider podcast, former U.K. Home Secretary and Labour peer David Blunkett suggested that there should be a discussion about the treatment of drug abuse victims. He also called on Starmer to initiate an investigation into the possibility of decriminalizing drugs. Additionally, Labour’s Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has implemented trial initiatives to halt the prosecution of young individuals found in possession of cannabis in certain boroughs of London.
Other leaders are also shifting their stance on drug policies. For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who held a conference for progressive leaders in Montreal last week that Starmer also participated in, has implemented changes to legalize the purchasing and consumption of cannabis. Various states in the United States have taken a comparable approach. In closer proximity, Germany has recently passed a law to loosen its regulations on cannabis.
However, Starmer maintained that he would have different focuses if his party is successful in the upcoming U.K. national election, which is predicted to take place in 2024. He stated, “We will have a significant amount of tasks ahead of us. I will be concentrating on the five goals for the government that I have outlined. We simply do not have the capacity for much else, unfortunately.”
During a comprehensive interview about his perspective on global matters, the leader of the Labour party also stated that a top goal of his would be to repair the UK’s standing and reputation in international relations.
Starmer, a proponent of Britain’s membership in the EU, stated that the belief that the only way to have influence or a role on the global stage is by rejoining the EU is incorrect. He believes that NATO, not the EU, has been the main source of stability in the security field, especially in the past 18 months since the Ukraine conflict.
The complete interview with Keir Starmer is available on the first episode of Power Play here and on all podcast platforms.