Recovering alcoholic MP admits he was under the influence while working in Parliament

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·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
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Dan Carden. (UK Parliament/Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0))
Dan Carden admitted he has been under the influence of alcohol while working in Parliament. (UK Parliament/Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0))

A Labour MP recovering from alcoholism has admitted he has been drunk in Parliament while doing his job.

Dan Carden said Westminster is a “very easy place” for alcoholics to “hide” their addictions and pointed to the easy availability of alcohol in and around the parliamentary estate.

Carden, 34, revealed in a House of Commons speech in July that his alcoholism – driven by the pressures of trying to hide his sexuality – nearly killed him twice while he was in his 20s.

Reflecting on his addiction and admitting he has been under the influence of alcohol while working in Parliament, Carden told BBC 5 Live on Monday: “Westminster, like many workplaces, is a very easy place to hide if you’re an alcoholic.”

Watch: Dan Carden reveals he almost died twice from alcohol addiction (from July)

Carden, who has been Liverpool Walton MP since 2017 and is now in his third year of recovery, said that during the height of his addiction, he actually managed “many months of sobriety” during his earlier years as an MP.

“But I still had that underlying pain and I hadn’t dealt with my problem.”

He is now seeking to set up a support group for people working in Westminster who are struggling with alcohol.

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Carden added: “The message I want to get across to people is recovery works but people who are suffering need compassion, support... and at the end of it they can live the most fulfilling lives you could ever hope for.”

In October 2019, then-deputy speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said there was a problem with both drink and drugs inside Parliament.

Hoyle, who was speaking during hustings for the main Speaker role, said the issue needs to be "addressed and the support needs to be given".

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