The drugs death summit in Glasgow may not take place this year because of the General election.

Last month UK Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse agreed the UK Government would hold a summit in the city as proposed by the Evening Times in July.

Mr Malthouse said it should take place before Christmas. Now however the Home Office is stating “in the near future”

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The Scottish Government has committed to attending and hosting a summit following our call after the latest drug death figures showed a 40% increase in Glasgow to record levels. Last year 290 people died from a drug related death.

The Evening Times called on all levels of government to meet in the city with organisations on the front line to develop a strategy to improve treatment and save lives.

Glasgow City Council leader, Susan Aitken, has also written to Priti Patel, Home Secretary seeking a commitment to a date before the end of the year.

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Bu the summit could be put on hold while the election campaign takes place.

The Evening Times asked the Home Office for the latest update on the summit.

The Home Office said: “At a meeting of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee on 23 October, Crime, Policing and Fire Minister Kit Malthouse proposed to hold a UK-wide drug summit in Glasgow in the near future.

“As is standard practice, following the general election it will be a matter for any new government to set out its approach.”

Scottish Government said: “We want the summit to take place as soon as practicable and we are keen to ensure that the UK Government can participate in it, alongside experts and people with lived experience.”

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I welcomed at the time Mr Malthouse’s indication that the UK Government was willing to engage with Glasgow on this hugely important issue. That remains the case.

“However, there is an urgency here. We are talking about people’s lives. We cannot allow the General Election to become a barrier to potentially unblocking the logjam to action or indeed allow it to become an excuse for inaction.

“Given this invitation was extended in the summer there is no reason why preparations cannot go ahead in the interim and I would hope the Home Office is able to commit to ministerial attendance.”