Theresa May promised me she would help get cannabis oil for my epileptic son, mother claims

Harry Yorke
Alfie Dingley and his mother, Hannah Deacon - PA

The mother of a six-year-old boy with epilepsy has claimed Theresa May promised she would help her find a way of getting cannabis oil to treat her son.  

Hannah Deacon said the Prime Minister had met her and her son Alfie Dingley in Downing Street, where she personally assured her that her case would be resolved swiftly and on a “compassionate basis”.

But Ms Deacon says that since the encounter her family has only faced “hurdles after hurdles after hurdles” in their battle to get permission to treat Alfie with the THC oil, which is currently outlawed in England.

It comes as Lord Hague, the former leader of the Conservatives, called on the Prime Minister to abandon the Government’s “deluded” policy on cannabis and legalise it.

Writing in The Telegraph, Lord Hague, who as leader opposed legalisation, admits that the war on the class B drug has been “comprehensively and irreversibly lost”, adding that Mrs May should be “bold” and introduce a “major change” in policy.

Hague cannabis comment

"The idea that this can be driven off the streets and out of people’s lives by the state is nothing short of deluded," he added.

Meanwhile, an urgent review has been launched into whether to allow medicinal use of the drug following pleas from the mother of 12 year-old Billy Caldwell, who has been granted a limited licence after the confiscation of his medication led to him falling seriously ill.

The launch of the review, backed by Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid, was confirmed on Monday after the Health Secretary said that he believed the law had failed and that there was “good clinical evidence” that cannabis oil can be beneficial.

Describing her own family’s ordeal, Ms Deacon revealed how her family had been forced to spend £30,000 on treatment in the Netherland, after being warned that her son would suffer a heart attack or psychosis if he continued receiving the intravenous steroids prescribed to him in the UK.

She added that in March, Mrs May had promised to help but the case still has not been resolved.

Q&A | CBD and cannabis oil

"I met the Prime Minister on March 20 in Number 10. I appealed to her directly," Ms Deacon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"She looked at me. She met my son and she told me that they would find a way in which our clinicians could be issued with a Schedule 1 licence to give my son the medicine that he had in Holland. I believed her.

"She also answered questions at PMQs and she said to MPs that our application would be allowed on compassionate basis and it would be dealt with speedily.

"That was three months ago. All that we have been put through is bureaucracy, hurdles - hurdles after hurdles after hurdles - changes in what they want, saying to us 'This isn't good enough but we can't tell you what we want because if we did it would be doing it for you'.

"The Prime Minister said to me she would help us provide this medication for my son. That is what needs to happen."

US state rules on use of cannabis

It comes after the Government announced a new expert panel of clinicians would be established to give swift advice on the prescription of cannabis-based medicines to individual patients.

But the Prime Minister suggested that the Government would look only into the operation of the current system of licences for use in individual cases, rather than reviewing the law more widely.

Her refusal to reconsider the law is likely to set her against a growing number of Tory MPs who back a change in the law, with several taking to social media this morning to praise Lord Hague’s intervention.

Front Bench promotion - end of article