Last night First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jim Murphy MP, leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party Ruth Davidson MSP, and the leader Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP went head-to-head in a debate on the issues of importance to Glasgow University students.
The debate, which was organised by the Glasgow University Politics Society and took place in Queen Margaret Union, received national media coverage over some of the participants admitting to having consumed illegal drugs when they were younger.
Some students felt Jim Murphy's answer was ambiguous and speculation as to his meaning lead to his office issuing the following statement. ‘Just to be clear, Mr Murphy has never taken drugs. The point he was making at the Glasgow University debate was that when he was growing up drugs weren’t as widespread and that the harmful thing for many people back then was glue sniffing. For the record that’s not something Mr Murphy has tried either.’ below can be found a transcript of the incident as well as a recording of all of the participants responses supplied by SubCity Radio (transcript begins at 1:07 of recording).
Murphy: ‘When I was growing up. It’s a long time ago, when I lived, in the housing scheme that I lived in glue sniffing was the thing.’
Sturgeon: ‘And did you?’
Moderator: ‘Did you try that?’
Murphy: ‘I don’t remember.’
The Moderator then asks to switch to Ruth Davidson, but Murphy interjects.
Murphy: ‘Well it just, well I mean, well I’m not, well at that time drugs, I’m showing my age, it was just a kind of working class thing to do, kinda, sniffing glue out of crisp pokes. It was a dreadful harmful thing that was in that community at that time.’
Moderator: ‘No-ones judging you here tonight.’
Murphy: ‘I think a lot of people are judging me here tonight.’
Moderator: 'Maybe they are'
The other candidates responses were significantly less ambiguous. Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon admitted to having tried cannabis, Willie Rennie MSP simply replied 'yes' to the question of whether he had taken any drugs.
You can review the entire event as it happened here.