A UK government “drugs summit” set to take place in Glasgow next month has been organised without consultation with the devolved Scottish administration, it has been claimed.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said the Scottish Government had been repeatedly ignored in their attempts to organise their own conference on substance misuse and control, despite inviting UK ministers to take part.

Drug recovery experts, health professionals, senior police officers and Government ministers from all four UK nations are to attend the event on February 27.

READ MORE: Glasgow set to host UK-wide drug summit in bid to tackle use

It comes after recent figures revealed drug deaths in Scotland rose to 1,187 in 2018 – the highest since records began in 1996.

Mr FitzPatrick said he was “very surprised” by the announcement but added the Scottish Government would collaborate on the event with UK ministers.

“What Scotland faces in terms of drug deaths is nothing short of a public health emergency and we will engage constructively with any attempts to save lives,” he said.

“I have asked UK Government ministers repeatedly to meet to discuss this issue and to attend a summit we were organising.

“I was, therefore, very surprised that the UK Government announced a summit in Glasgow without any consultation with the Scottish Government and Glasgow.”

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He added: “Regardless of how the UK Government have chosen to go about this, what really matters is reducing harm and saving lives.

“That’s why listening to, and engaging with, people with lived experience of drug use and those on the front line must be central to any summit.

“We will now, again, attempt to work with the UK Government to facilitate this.”