Sajid Javid hailed by Tories for showing leadership over cannabis review

Kate Proctor
Home Secretary Sajid Javid: AFP/Getty Images

Sajid Javid has been praised by Tory backbenchers for showing “political leadership” after he announced a review of medicinal cannabis.

MPs have rallied behind the Home Secretary for acting swiftly when it emerged the families of two children with acute epilepsy were being blocked from using cannabis-based therapies.

Mr Javid has also launched a new panel, which will start operating within days, to consider applications from patients seeking to use cannabis oil.

Former minister George Freeman, who wants to modernise the Tory party by engaging younger members, praised the Home Secretary for acting decisively. He tweeted: “Clear, coherent & sensible intervention by @sajid­javid to sort our [sic] the #MedicalCannabis saga and clear the way for clinically led licensing of #cannabismedicines where there is a patient need.”

Ex-minister Desmond Swayne MP told Mr Javid in the Commons: “Clinical leadership may have its place, but for years the crying need has been for political leadership.”

He went on to thank Mr Javid and policing minister Mike Penning, who is the proposed chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Medical Cannabis Under Prescription, for trying to change Britain’s ban on cannabis-based medications.

Mr Penning has previously said he found it “bizarre” that the UK allows the medical use of strong opiates, but bans the medical use of cannabis.

Mr Javid yesterday announced a two-part review into medicinal cannabis. The first stage will be carried out by Professor Sally Davies, the Government’s chief medical officer, into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis-based medicines.

The second part will be led by the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, which will look at whether specific medicines should be allowed for use in some cases. The Government opposes the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.