Nick Clegg encouraged the BBC to give airtime to organisations that promote the legalisation of drugs including heroin, it was revealed yesterday.
Mr Clegg’s attempt to manipulate the BBC came in the hours before the official publication of the Home Office report.
An aide working for the Deputy Prime Minister sent journalists on the flagship Radio 4 Today programme and other current affairs shows an email picking out the Lib Dems’ favoured passages, many of which amounted to arguments for decriminalisation.
Astonishingly, the email from special adviser Phil Reilly recommended that producers and reporters at the BBC and other broadcasters contact Niamh Eastwood of Release and Danny Kushlick of Transform.
Release, a charity founded in the 1960s to give legal and other help to drug users, is calling for the decriminalisation of drug possession offences in the UK. Transform, a charity, campaigns for the legalisation of drugs.
It states on its website that ‘prohibition doesn’t work and never will’.
Today producers rejected the aide’s advice, instead interviewing Lib Dem home office minister Norman Baker, who wants drug laws relaxed, and Tory MP Michael Ellis, who is opposed to legalising drugs.
Good on Today!