Scots drug campaigner hits out at Penny Mordaunt’s comments and urges her to not create stigma

A SCOTS drug campaigner has hit out following comments made by the Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt that the SNP legacy would be “a safe space for Scots to take heroin”.

Peter Kyrkant works with social justice charity Cranstoun and was left fuming after the remarks were made by the Portsmouth North MP.

The accusation was part of a response to a question from the SNP’s Edinburgh North and Leith MP Deidre Brock.

It left many Scots fizzing with rage including Mr Krykant who was quick to take the 50-year-old to task over the comments.

Peter Krykant has been credited with saving lives through his overdose prevention service.

Mordaunt had said: “A wrecked education system, a widening attainment gap, fewer teachers, maths scores declining in every PISA survey, science at a low record and plummeting literacy rates.

“But they will have of course somewhere safe and warm in which to take heroin.”

Mr Krykant used his years of experience in viewing safe consumption sites throughout the world to try and educate the Devonshire born MP.

He said: “Dear Penny Mordaunt, I’ve seen consumption sites in Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Australia and Mexico.

“Switzerland opened one in 1986 and coupled with safe supply practically eradicated HIV transmission and drug deaths are now rare.

“I’ve lost family members who would still be alive if we had humane systems of support that are accessible in so many other countries.

“I’ve also struggled, at times I have been un-housed, sleeping on the streets and injecting drugs in terrible conditions so I understand how difficult it can be to ask for support and your comments create more stigma which is one of the biggest barriers to asking for help.”

The charity worker appealed for the Member to be curious and not judgmental when it comes to looking into the facts behind those who support safe consumption of illegal drugs.

Mr Krykant continued: “I honestly think that when you talk sarcastically and mock internationally proven evidence based ways to save lives.

“It can support some of the most disadvantaged people in society you should think about the negative impacts that could have on all who have lost a child, a parent, a sibling or a friend.

“We saw lives saved in Glasgow first hand from the back of this old ambulance when we set up an unsanctioned mobile overdose prevention service.

“These lives were worth saving, I sincerely hope you can reflect on the comments, the negative impacts and the fact that people deserve the right to dignity, support and to life.

“With people dying up and down the country every day it really is not a laughing matter or something to take lightly as so many continue to mourn loved ones.”

The 46 year-old from Larbert, Falkirk set up the UK’s first mobile overdose prevention facility in Glasgow in 2020.

His Overdose Prevention Service mirrors similar schemes set up in fourteen countries across the world including Canada, Germany, Switzerland and France.

Along with a team of volunteers, it supplies clean needles, a safe space to inject and Naloxone, a drug that prevents overdoses.

Peter shared his views to social media yesterday where he received over 860 likes and more than 90 comments from users quick to agree.

One user said: “Peter the silly thing is she opens her mouth and says things so she can post on social media. She is not a serious politician but really who is in England now

“All creaming from the system whilst trying to keep people down. Best ignored.”

Another replied: “Her comments are despicable. Not just rude about Scottish people but also undermining the good work safe consumption sites do. We all know they work.”

Penny Mordaunt (pictured) made the comments as part of a denunciation of the Scottish education system in response to a question from Edinburgh North and Leith MP Deidre Brock.

A third added: “It is absolutely disturbing seeing a so-called politician spewing stigma for all the world to see.

“I’m angry and embarrassed that people like her are currently representing on an international stage. She can say what she likes about SNP as I care not a jot but to promote stigma?”

Another wrote: “A perfect reply, through lived experience. Career politicians completely unaware of what’s happening in local communities.

“No one can stop drug users, but we can provide help and support to them and their families. We can prevent deaths. Which is far more important.”

Glasgow MSP Paul Sweeney said: “I witnessed Peter Krykant’s overdose prevention pilot save eight lives in Glasgow.

“One young woman, a survivor of sexual violence, who overdosed twice later wrote to the volunteers to thank us for saving her life and giving her hope back.

“Penny Mordaunt should learn this reality.”