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  1. ITV Report

Police investigating after ITV Wales uncovers cocaine use inside the Welsh Assembly

Swabs were used that turn blue when they come in contact with cocaine Credit: ITV Wales

South Wales Police is investigating allegations of substance misuse in the Welsh Assembly after traces of the class A drug cocaine was found in toilets.

Following information given to ITV Wales, an investigation was carried out in toilets, that cannot be used by the general public, over a four week period.

Using a swab testing kit that is designed to turn blue when it comes into contact with traces of cocaine, surfaces in two out of eight toilets tested positive.

The swabs turn blue when they come into contact with the drug cocaine Credit: ITV Wales

The toilets in question can only be accessed by a security pass that is normally issued to different groups of staff and employers working at the National Assembly for Wales including Assembly Members and the staff they employ, Welsh Government, media organisations, contractors, Assembly Commission staff and visitors.

Guests of pass holders can also access the toilets.

Swabs were taken from the same two toilets on four separate occasions over a one month period - and traces of the class A drug showed up each time.

But all other samples in different toilets came back negative.

A sample of the blue swabs were sent for toxicology tests at the Queen Mary University of London for verification, along with one that had not turned blue.

Professor of Clinical Pharmacology Atholl Johnston confirmed to ITV Wales there was cocaine present on the blue swabs.

Professor Johnston confirmed the blue samples had cocaine present Credit: ITV Wales

Cocaine use has been in the headlines recently with questions around past use of the drug by prominent politicians, after the UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove admitted he used the drug 20 years ago when working as a journalist.

Michael Gove recently admitted taking cocaine while working as a journalist 20 years ago Credit: PA Images

In a statement, the Assembly Commission said it takes substance misuse on its estate “very seriously” and confirmed it had referred the allegation to the police.

It added, “There are different groups of staff and employers working at the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff Bay including Assembly Members and the staff they employ, Welsh Government, media organisations, our contractors, Assembly Commission staff and visitors.”

In a statement the Assembly Commission said it had referred the matter to the police

We were contacted by ITV Wales last Friday to inform us they had been testing some of our toilet facilities for cocaine use. They allege tests in one specific set of facilities returned positive results while all others were negative.

We are working with all employers to remind them of the Codes of Conduct for Assembly Members, Assembly Member support staff and Commission staff and that any pass holders found to be in possession or under the influence of illegal substances will be subject to disciplinary procedures and may be reported to the police.

We would also wish to remind individuals working for the Assembly Commission, Assembly Members and support staff that should they require support for any form of substance misuse, there are a range of confidential services offered by the Assembly Commission to help anyone in need.

– Assembly Commission statement

In a short statement, South Wales Police said it has received an allegation regarding substance misuse at the Senedd by the Assembly Commission and that "enquiries are ongoing."