A Tory MP has confessed to using poppers during a plea to stop them being made illegal.
Former prisons minster Crispin Blunt admitted using the substance as part of a warning to parliament that gay men would likely ignore any ban on alkyl nitrites.
Mr Blunt, who came out as gay and left his wife in 2010, told the Commons : “There are some times when something is proposed which becomes personal to you and you realise the government is about to do something fantastically stupid. And I think in those circumstances one has a duty to speak up.
“I use poppers, I out myself as a popper user, and would be directly affected by this legislation. I’m astonished then to find that it’s proposing to be banned and frankly so would many other gay men.
“And if I follow my own mindset reaction to this it simply serves to bring the whole law into disrepute.”
He added poppers, “have been used for decades” and “respect for the law is going to fly out the window for people if that’s the drug they use”.
The Department of Health will now investigate claims a ban would harm the gay community and decide by July whether to “un-ban” the chemicals.