The Home Affairs Committee has called on the Government to create a new legislative and funding framework to enable “practical, risk-reducing interventions such as establishing a pilot drug consumption facility and drug testing at festivals”.

In the report, the Committee has called for a move away from an abstinence-only approach to harm reduction, with improved cross-working between police, health and social services. It urged ministers to launch a drug-checking service to anonymously test drugs, and a licensing scheme to enable drug-testing facilities to be set up at festivals.

In June, artists such as Fatboy Slim along with dozens of MPs and festival operators called on the Home Office to reinstate drug testing at festivals after it prevented drug testing at LN Gaiety-owned Manchester festival Parklife for the first time since 2014.

Parklife co-founder Sacha Lord said, “The Home Affairs Committee has stepped up where the Home Office has failed, by confirming we should have back-of-house testing. Festival organisers, festival-goers and parents will absolutely welcome this report.”

“Festival organisers, festival-goers and parents will absolutely welcome this report.”

The Committee said the Government’s 10-Year Drugs Strategy rightly emphasises a change in focus towards a public health approach to combatting drugs but that without a significant expansion in the range and availability of health-based interventions it is unlikely to have the transformative impact needed to tackle rising drug-related deaths and related harms.

Secret Garden Party founder Freddie Fellowes has told Access All Areas that the first year of drug testing at the event saw welfare, medical and hospital admission drop by two thirds, and that level was retained in subsequent years as a result of ongoing testing.

Welcoming the report, Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said that while the UK has long been a pioneer in the global music and entertainment scene, its approach to drug policy has lagged behind the progressive measures embraced by its European counterparts: “Across the channel, countries have taken significant steps forward by integrating drug checking initiatives into festivals and cultural events. These programs, aimed at ensuring the safety of festival goers and reducing drug-related harm, have proven to be effective tools in minimising risks associated with substance misuse.”

Home Affairs Committee chair Dame Diana Johnson said, “Drugs continue to cause significant harm to individuals and society. The governmental response must be able to deal with the complex harms drugs can cause and whilst the drug strategy is moving in the right direction, it requires much more meaningful action to tackle the broad range of drug-related problems.”