The corridors of powder: cocaine found in Houses of Parliament

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Britain's Palace of Westminster is silhouetted against the setting sun, London, Britain, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The Houses of Parliament (REUTERS/Toby Melville)

Traces of cocaine have been found in the Houses of Parliament.

An investigation carried out by VICE found the Class A drug in four secure areas of the building.

One of the areas with the highest levels of residue was in the toilets outside of the Strangers Bar, which is accessible to parliamentary passholders and visitors.

VICE carried out tests in nine areas.

An agent cuts open a brick of some the 35,000 pounds (15,875 kg) of cocaine that U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations seized on the MSC Gayane in seven shipping containers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 17, 2019. Picture taken June 17, 2019.  Steve Sapp/courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
The cocaine was found in four areas of the building (REUTERS)

Rooms were swabbed with a testing kit consisting of pale pink wipes which turn blue if any trace of the drug is present.

Other locations which tested positive were the disabled toilets outside The Woolsack, one of several bars in the Palace of Westminster, as well as two other bathrooms outside of MP’s offices.

It is not the first time cocaine has been found in Westminster.

Back in 2013, an investigation by the Sun on Sunday found cocaine in various parts of the building.

Many of parliament's passholders, thought to be as high as 13,000, are not members of the House of Commons or Lords, so it is not clear who will be using the drug.

However, the latest revelation comes just weeks after revelations about drug use among high profile MPs.

In response, a spokesperson for Parliament said the takes the issue of substance misuse was taken very seriously.

Britain's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove leaves the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 13, 2019. - The 10 candidates running to replace Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May face the first round of voting on Thursday -- when at least one will get the chop. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Gove, who recently admitted cocaine use when he was a journalist (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP/Getty Images)

“Parliament is a public place and we welcome over a million visitors a year who have access to the facilities,” said the spokesperson.

“Should drug use be identified in Parliament, appropriate action would be taken.”

Michael Gove, who unsuccessfully ran for prime minister in the current Conservative leadership elections, was forced to admit using cocaine on “several occasions”.

Frontrunners Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt also admitted drug use in their past, while another prominent Tory, Rory Stewart, said he had smoked opium at a wedding in Iran.

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