Downing Street has ruled out random drug tests on cabinet ministers after a Tory mayoral candidate said all firms should conduct checks on their employees.
London mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey called for every business in the capital with more than 250 employees to sign up to a drug-testing charter – routinely checking workers for illegal substance use – with the results being made public.
Mr Bailey said this would help to identify middle class cocaine users, who are fuelling the “explosion” of crime among poorer communities by purchasing drugs from criminals.
As Mayor, I’ll ask big companies to test staff for drugs. And I’ll publish the results.
The purpose is not to embarrass staff, who will stay anonymous.
The purpose is to shine a light on middle-class drug use and change our culture.
— Shaun Bailey (@ShaunBaileyUK) August 24, 2020
Asked if Number 10 would back the policy by testing cabinet ministers, a Downing Street spokesman said: “We expect the highest level of professionalism from everybody in government and that remains the case but there are no plans for that.”
The comments came as Boris Johnson returned to Downing Street following a week-long break in Scotland.
The prime minister was forced to cut his trip to Applecross on the west coast a day short due to “safety concerns” after he was tracked down and pictured outside a cottage by a national newspaper.