'I use poppers,' Crispin Blunt declared this afternoon in the Commons as MPs gathered to voice opposition to the government's proposals to ban the legal drug as part of the psychoactive substances bill:
'I out myself as a popper user, and would be directly affected by this legislation and I'm astonished to find that it's proposing to be banned and, frankly, so were many other gay men.'
The Conservative MP appeared to inspire Michael Fabricant to offer up an equally candid confession:
While Fabricant opposed the government's plan, he says he is not a regular user of poppers as they can make him feel dizzy.
Back in the Chamber, Keith Vaz offered his own take on poppers. The Labour MP conceded that poppers are 'beneficial in enabling anal sex':
'The government recognises that representations have been made to the effect that ‘poppers’ have a beneficial health and relationship effect in enabling anal sex for some men who have sex with men, amid concern about the impact of the ban on these men.'
Alas for all their efforts, it wasn't enough to save the legal high. MPs voted not to exempt poppers from a ban on psychoactive substances. Well, you can't say they didn't try.