"I did Class A drugs and they messed with my brain", admits Tory MP Louise Mensch as she out-shocks Johnny Rotten on Question Time - however she refuses to say which Class A drugs she took for fear of 'glorifying' them.
Conservative MP Louise Mensch proved more shocking than punk pioneer John Lydon on Question Time last night - by admitting class A drugs 'messed with her brain.'
The MP for Corby appeared as a panellist on the BBC 1 show alongside the former Sex Pistols frontman to debate the issues of the day, including whether drugs should be legalised.
She told a shocked TV audience: 'I did serious drugs and it messed with my head.'
Despite further questioning from presenter David Dimbleby she refused to reveal what drugs she'd taken for fear of 'glorifying' them.
The discussion was sparked by comments from Justice Secretary Ken Clarke earlier this week who said the UK is 'plainly losing' the war on drugs, and may even be going backwards.
He insisted he was personally opposed to decriminalisation and that the Government had 'no intention whatever' of relaxing the law.
Ms Mensch, an Oxford-educated mother-of-three, said: 'The plain fact of the matter is drugs are incredibly addictive and destroy lives.
'I am somebody who has used drugs in the past, I have used class A drugs in the past, I said this when someone tried to blackmail me over this during the Murdoch hearings.
'It's something I regret incredibly, that in my youth, I messed with my brain'.
'I said we all do stupid things when we are young. It's had long-term mental health effects on me. It's caused me to be more anxious than I need to be. It's nothing that anybody needs to glorify.'
The backbencher and 'chick-lit' author did not support legalising drugs and said making drugs 'more easily available to people' was not the answer.
Remarkably Lydon managed to keep keep the airwaves clean during his appearance on the current affairs show - and prompted laughter when he said: 'For me personally, I don’t want my drugs taxed.'
Millions tuned in to watch the former hellraiser swap anarchy for current affairs. He is famous for his foul-mouthed appearance on Bill Grundy’s Today show in 1976 which propelled him and his former bandmates into the headlines and wrecked the broadcaster’s career.
Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, said: 'I don’t see why these things should be illegal if the correct information is out there. Here’s the problem - you can kill yourself with two tablespoons of table salt. Are you now going to ban table salt?
'Let us as human beings determine our own journey in life.'
The show, which was filmed before an audience in Derby, also featured former home secretary Alan Johnson, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey and journalist Dominic Lawson on the panel.
Lydon also said he was against a parliamentary inquiry into the banking crisis - comparing the situation to stealing a car.
It's not the first time Ms Mensch, 40, has talked about her drug taking.
In November she first confessed to taking class A substances in her twenties and revealed it made her anxious, stressed and unable to be happy.
The daughter of a wealthy stockbroker and a headmistress, she was forced to admit she had taken drugs while working at EMI as a press officer.
However, the admission was seen as refreshingly honest and it boosted her popularity.
She said in the candid interview: 'I don't want to sound too flippant about it [taking drugs]. It was very damaging and I wish I had not done it.
'I do blame them for disturbing my long-term happiness. I blame drug use in my twenties for making me jumpier and more nervous than I needed to be.'
The mental health charity Rethink said yesterday that it helped society for prominent figures to discuss the issue.Spokeswoman Jane Harris said: 'We welcomed her honesty about it. Drugs affect people in different ways, but there is a strong link between the use of drugs like cannabis and cocaine, particularly by young people, and mental health problems.'
A member of the drug and mental health charity Turning Point said: 'It is definitely brave of her to speak in this way.'
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee in the Commons, said he would write to her, asking her to give evidence to an inquiry being held into drugs in Britain.
By Emily Allen - article and video of programme can be found here
PUBLISHED: 14:21, 6 July 2012 | UPDATED: 18:17, 6 July 2012