Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon have called on Suella Braverman to rethink her opposition to a safe consumption room in Glasgow.

The First Minister and his predecessor have added their names to a letter  — seen by The Herald — signed by all of the city’s SNP MSPs and MPs, urging the Home Secretary to “urgently act.”

It follows a recent report by the Commons’ Home Affairs committee which called for a pilot of the supervised drug-using facility.

The cross-party group of MPs also said the relevant powers should be devolved to Holyrood. 

Within hours of the report’s publication, the Home Office said it would not consider the recommendation.

READ MORE: Brian Taylor: The real row underlying the dispute over drugs

Campaigners have long said that consumption rooms can help tackle the grim number of drug-related deaths in Scotland.

However, relevant laws are reserved to Westminster. 

The Herald: Home Secretary Suella Braverman (Leon Neal/PA)

In their report, the Home Affairs Committee said: "We recommend that the government support the piloting of safe consumption facilities in areas across the UK where there is deemed to be a need by local government and stakeholders.

"In particular, we recommend the government support a pilot in Glasgow by creating a legislative pathway under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that enables such a facility to operate legally."

They added: "We repeat the recommendation made by the Scottish Affairs Committee in 2019 that, if the UK government is unwilling to support this, the power to establish a pilot be devolved to the Scottish government."

In their letter to Ms Braverman, Mr Yousaf and the SNP politicians urged her to “urgently act on the conclusion of the recent drugs report from the Home Affairs Committee which calls on the UK Government to fund a pilot safe consumption facility in Glasgow and create a legislative pathway to enable more across the UK.”

They said funding safe consumption space, specifically the proposed pilot in Glasgow, was “an important step to ensure a hygienic and secure environment in which trained staff are on site to supervise the injecting of illicit drugs.”

The Herald:

The 13 MSPs and MPs pointed to research detailing how “the prevalence of safe consumption facilities has a positive impact on people who use illicit drugs and crime rates in the area.” They added: “Moreover, there is no evidence that the availability of safer drug consumption facilities increases drug use or the frequency of injecting.”

READ MORE: Scotland drug deaths: Fatal overdose deaths fall in 2022

Figures published last month revealed Scotland’s largest-ever fall in drug deaths, with 1,051 fatalities in 2022 – a drop of 279 on the previous year.

Nevertheless, the country’s death rate is still 2.7 times the UK average and is the worst in Europe. 

Mr Yousaf and his colleagues said tackling the drug deaths crisis would require “bold and courageous thinking.” 

“Whilst Scotland is making progress using the limited powers of devolution, with most recent statistics showing the biggest year on year reduction in drugs deaths since records began, we need the UK Government to do more work with us to introduce harm reduction methods.

"We look forward to your response.”

READ MORE: 'Tide is turning' on Scotland's drug death crisis says minister

Responding to the letter, a Home Office spokesperson said: “There is no safe way to take illegal drugs, which devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities and we have no plans to consider this.

“We continue to share learnings with the Scottish Government and exchange insights from initiatives aimed at addressing drug use and harms at Ministerial and official level. We welcome these ongoing discussions.”