The MP tricked into condemning a fake drug called ‘Cake’ is to chair a committee debating new drugs law

Jon Stone
Thursday 22 October 2015 17:19
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David Amess holds a piece of 'Cake' for the camera
David Amess holds a piece of 'Cake' for the camera

A Conservative MP who was famously tricked into condemning a made up drug called “Cake” has been put in charge of the Committee which will debate the Government’s new proposed drugs policy.

David Amess appeared on the satirical television programme Brass Eye in 1997 where he was filmed referring to Cake as “a big yellow death bullet”.

As a result of the encounter he asked ministers a real life question in Parliament about the made up drug.

It was announced this week that Mr Amess will chair the bill committee for the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill.

He will co-chair the committee with another MP, George Howarth. Their role will be to remain impartial and to ensure proper procedures are carried out and that contributions are in order.

The new bill seeks to ban the recreational use of legal highs, including laughing gas.

In the programme, 'Cake' was described as "a new legal drug from Czechoslovakia" - similar to those banned by the real-life 2015 bill.

Public bill committees scrutinise the passage of new laws and take evidence about their effects from external stakeholders.

The groups of MPs also debate amendments that can be made to new laws.

“Look at that, a £100,000 in the pocket of the filth that sells it. A big yellow death bullet in the head of some poor user – or custard gannet as the dealers call them,” Mr Amess sincerely told Brass Eye at the time.

Placing a comedy yellow piece of cake provided by producers on a table near him, he added:

“I’m off to do what I can – and if you don’t mind, I’ll leave this with you. I don’t want to look at it for another moment.”

A number of celebrities were filmed endorsing a war on Cake. Producers told viewers that a group called F.U.K.D. and B.O.M.B.D. - Free the United Kingdom from Drugs and British Opposition to Metabolically Bisturbile Drugs - wanted the substance banned.

Mr Amess was widely ridiculed for falling prey to the stunt when the television programme aired.

When he asked ministers about the drug in Parliament they incorrectly assumed he was referring to a drug called Methylenedioxybenzylamphetamine, a lesser-known psychedelic drug.

Brass Eye was a surreal Channel 4 comedy show created by comedian Chris Morris.

The series satirised moral panics and sensationalism, including, in the episode in question, 'tough on drugs' rhetoric.

* Update - 8/12/15

Sir David Amess MP has contacted The Independent and asked us to publish the following response to this article:

I was deeply disappointed when the article was brought to my attention on Thursday 22 October 2015. It is a travesty of the situation. As the Chairman of the Bill Committee on Psychoactive Drugs I am completely impartial/neutral to any points made.

My job is to chair the Bill to ensure that proper procedures are carried out and that contributions are in order. To sensationally muddy this with a Brass Eye event of some years ago is a disgrace.

The Brass Eye episode followed me having been tricked into giving an interview on the back of the death of a constituent, Leah Betts, having taken ecstasy.

I then pursued the matter and apologies were issued by all concerned, none of which is contained in the article, which I find misleading and dishonest.

Yours sincerely

Sir David Amess MP

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