More MS news articles for June 2001

Young voters probe Kennedy on drugs

Saturday June 2, 12:00 AM

The chain-smoking leader of the Lib Dems, Charles Kennedy, last night confirmed that he led a drug-free life whilst at university.

Questioned by a group of first time voters in a bar on Friday, Kennedy said he was too busy smoking and drinking to touch illegal drugs.

"I never did any illegal drugs, there wasn't much around, because there was so much beer and cigarettes," he said.

Kennedy, who entered the House of Commons aged just 23, graduated from Glasgow University in 1982.

But he stressed that cannabis should be made legal for people with certain illnesses. He said those suffering diseases such as multiple sclerosis should be allowed cannabis on prescription.

None of the three party leaders have admitted to trying drugs, although Francis Maude and Tim Yeo were two of several members of the shadow cabinet to have admitted dabbling with drugs during their student days.

Grilled by the first time voters Kennedy also rebuffed suggestions that he should follow Sir Paddy Ashdown's fitness regime.

Probed on whether he shared Ashdown's passion for burning calories, he said: "You must be joking."

Kennedy is widely considered to be the most loose living of all three party leaders, famously rounding off a hospital photocall with the remark "that's enough health, I'm dying on a fag". the UK's political portal