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Legal action threatened over festival drug testing licensing Published Date: 03/07/2023

Parklife founder Sacha Lord has formally threatened legal action against the government over drug checking at festivals.

We previously reported that the Government has been accused of a drug testing licensing U-turn after the Home Office informed Sacha Lord that a special licence would be needed for this year's Parklife, 48 hours before the start of the event, but the application process takes three months.

The BBC reported that Sacha Lord has written to Home Secretary Suella Braverman urging her to allow on-site testing in "pop-up labs" to go ahead.

Mr Lord's letter says the Home Office was "well aware" of these arrangements and former ministers have publicly said the department wouldn't intervene to stop them.

He argues that the department made a "flawed decision" when it insisted on licences being obtained this year.

The letter says festival organisers had a legitimate expectation they would be able to test as normal this year and weren't properly consulted beforehand.

It says notification of the licence requirement - two days before Parklife in Manchester began - came too late for it to be possible to obtain one in time.

The letter, co-signed by trade body the Night Time Industries Association, demands the government allow testing without a licence to go ahead as before, or take steps so organisations have enough time to comply with the licence requirement.

The Home Office told BBC Newsbeat: "Our position hasn't changed for 50 years.