Police searching minister's home find dope worth... 85p

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The news flashed across the airwaves yesterday morning that cannabis had been found by police in the constituency home of John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence, during a routine security search last week.

Mr Reid, 58, was in Afghanistan when the hashish was found, visiting British troops deployed to counter its narcotics trade.

The discovery, in a guest room at the house near Motherwell, was confirmed by Strathclyde Assistant Chief Constable John Corrigan. The find was so small - a street value of 85p - police did not report it to Scotland's prosecution service. Police said it could have been left there at any time by any of "hundreds" of visitors.

Mr Reid said: "There is no suggestion that this involves me or members of my family, and both I and the Strathclyde police regard the matter as closed."