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Marian Walker resigns in support of Professor Nutt

A second member of the Government’s Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs has resigned.

She is Marian Walker, a pharmacist and clinical director of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

You can show your support for Professor David Nutt by joing the Facebook Group set up in support.

no victim no crime Her departure follows the resignation of Dr Les King who quit because of the sacking of Professor David Nutt by Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Dr King said the professor was being “sacked… for freedom of expression”, after Professor Nutt said alcohol and cigarettes were more dangerous than some drugs.

Earlier, the Home Secretary insisted he was right to force the drugs tsar to stand down.

Speaking on Sunday Live with Adam Boulton, Mr Johnson said he respected Professor David Nutt’s views but, as a Government adviser, he had “crossed the line”.

The Home Secretary said the decision to fire the professor had been his alone and he had not consulted the Prime Minister.

He went on: “I’ve got enormous respect for the advisory council, I want to meet them very soon, I’ve got enormous respect for the scientific community.

But, he said, it was not the job of scientific advisers to “just keep coming back and back and back” to overturn ministerial decisions.

“You cannot have a chief adviser at the same time stepping into the public field and campaigning against Government decisions,” the Home Secretary said.

“You can do one or the other, you can’t do both.”

Speaking later, Professor Nutt told Sky News that politicians were trying to do just that.

“What you cannot have is politicians stepping into the scientific arena – and that is exactly what they have done,” he said.

He also praised his colleague, Dr King, who was previously Head of the Drugs Intelligence Unit in the Forensic Science Service, for his advisory council work.

“I know he has been disillusioned for a long time but despite that he has worked huge hours,” Prof Nutt told Sky News.

“Les has worked phenomenally hard for the council… He has resigned because he thinks his advice has been essentially dismissed by the Government over the last few years.”

You can show your support for Professor David Nutt by joing the Facebook Group set up in support.


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