The UK’s crime minister walked out of a national drug summit in Glasgow before hearing from addiction experts - hours after branding safe consumption rooms ‘a distraction’.

Kit Malthouse missed key evidence from internationally renowned drug specialists and Irish and Welsh ministers before departing the conference less than three hours after it began to return to London.

READ MORE: UK crime minister calls safe drug consumption rooms 'a distraction' ahead of Glasgow summit

According to a report in The Herald’s sister paper, The Sunday National, Mr Malthouse heard from Scottish public health minister Joe FitzPatrick, but did not stay at the Scottish Event Campus when Dr Ed Day, the Home Office recovery champion, presented to the room.

It came hours after Mr Malthouse said safe consumption rooms, which the Home Office has continually rejected trialling in the city, were distracting from the real problem of tackling Scotland’s 1,187 drug deaths.

He also reportedly missed a talk from Portuguese experts who presented evidence from the country after it decriminalised drugs in 2001.

The National reported other delegates were “taken aback” after hearing about Mr Malthouse’s early departure.

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Jardine Simpson, chief executive of the Scottish Recovery Consortium, told the newspaper: “ “A wealth of international experts were invited and then ignored. The event was simply an exercise in demonstrating the UK Government is intractable – and in my view irrational – in sticking to its policy approach around addiction.”

“The UK Government is disconnected even from its’ own evidence-base.”