Esther McVey Latest Tory Leadership Candidate To Admit Having Previously Used Drugs

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"That is why I deeply regret the mistake that I made". International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he smoked opium at a wedding party in Iran.

Britain's environment secretary acknowledged using cocaine on "several occasions" two decades ago, the latest politician hoping to become prime minister to reveal past drug use to circumvent negative headlines during what is expected to be a heated contest.

Last time Mr Gove, 51, travelled to the USA was in January of 2017 to interview Donald Trump before his inauguration.

The 56-year-old said that while she was at university she dabbled in cannabis, but said she'd never done cocaine or any other Class A drug.

The battle is expected to conclude by the end of next month, with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson the bookmakers' favourite to emerge victorious.

"Look, I had a fantastic time when I was young, I lived life to the full".

"One of the things I also completely agree with is that the drug trade is wrong, that drugs wreck lives and that's one of the reasons why I sought, in office, to try to help people to move away from that".

He added: "I think it is the case that if I were elected as the prime minister of this country then of course it would be the case that I would be able to go to the United States". Certainly when I was working as a journalist I didn't imagine I would go into politics or public service.

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"Obviously it will be for my colleagues in parliament and members of the Conservatives Party to decide now if I should be leader".

"I didn't act with an eye to that".

Responding to the revelations of Gove's drug-taking, Leadsom said she had smoked cannabis at university, but had never done it since. The question now is that people should look at my record as a politician and ask themselves, 'Is this person we see ready to lead now?'

The admission comes as Theresa May resigned from her position as leader of the Conservative party, though she will remain as prime minister until her successor is chosen.

Leadership nominations will close at 17:00 BST on Monday, the party has said.

"I am very conscious of the fact I was fortunate".

His admission to taking the drug could put him in breach of visa rules, which require the applicant to answer whether they have ever violated laws related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs.

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