Sadiq Khan is facing backlash from the shadow cabinet after he set up a commission to look into UK cannabis laws.
The mayor of London made the announcement during a trip to the United States.
Former Labor leader Lord Falconer will chair the new body, which will make recommendations on what more can be done to tackle drug-related crime.
But HuffPost UK may reveal that some shadow cabinet members, including shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, are furious at Khan’s plans, fearing he will allow the Tories to portray Labor as soft on the drugs.
Following the mayor’s announcement, Conservative President Oliver Dowden emailed his supporters declaring: “Will you help stop Sadiq Khan from legalizing drugs?”
“Yvette is furious about it,” a Labor source said. “People just roll their eyes because it’s definitely not the official party line.”
Another added: “There is frustration in the front bench to be completely blindsided by this.
“We are clear about our position and our position on drug policy is extremely firm.
“This is not something that Sadiq can unilaterally change because he does not have the power to do so as mayor. Is incredible.”
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting is also understood to be angry at Khan’s intervention.
However, another Labor source said: “YouGov says that the majority of the public supports the legalization of cannabis.
“Sadiq has positioned himself as a progressive mayor on the side of the public prepared to take on the tough questions to genuinely address crime rather than pointless posturing that isn’t even popular anyway.”
Khan’s allies also pointed out that the commission’s announcement fulfilled a promise contained in his latest election manifesto.
During his trip to the United States, the mayor of London visited a cannabis dispensary in California, where the drug is legal for medical and recreational use by adults, which he described as “fascinating”.
During the trip, Khan told the BBC: “We need to have an honest and open conversation about the evidence in relation to the history of cannabis and our laws in the UK and our experience of the health consequences in relation to crime. and the community. .
“The best way to do it will be with the drug commission that we have now created.
“You can listen to the experts, that’s one thing, but seeing it for yourself…hearing from those who grow and cultivate this plant has been fascinating.”
Patel was one of several high-profile Tories who were quick to criticize Khan for his intervention, saying his time would be “better spent focusing on knife and drug crime in London”.
“The mayor has no powers to legalize drugs,” he tweeted. “They ruin communities, they destroy families and they destroy lives.”