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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
New role for Hellawell
Cannabis smoker
Mr Hellawell's new role involves giving advice overseas
Former drugs czar Keith Hellawell has been given a new role as a part-time adviser on international drug issues.

The former chief constable was sidelined in July after the incoming Home Secretary David Blunkett took over his responsibilities as UK anti-drugs co-ordinator.

I am very pleased to be able to continue my work in helping reduce the supply of drugs to this country

Keith Hellawell
A Home Office spokesman said that Mr Hellawell's new two-days-a-week job included helping countries who had applied for membership of the European Union to develop anti-drug strategies.

In a statement, Mr Blunkett said: "I want to thank Keith Hellawell for the excellent work he has done over the last three years as the Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator.

"Tackling drug misuse is one of the most important challenges facing this Government and Keith has done an excellent job in helping to lay the foundations for the future."

He added that he was pleased that Mr Hellawell had accepted his new job.

Critical of debate

After it was announced that he was being removed from his job as drugs czar, Mr Hellawell went on to publish his third and final annual report on drugs.

Keith Hellawell
Mr Hellawell has been critical of politicians
Then he appeared to criticised the way in which politicians were debating the issue of drugs.

At the time he told the BBC: "We've got a trend with children being attracted to these substances.

"Sometimes some of the debate which suggests we are going to change policy on some of these substances almost encourages [them].

Ongoing job

"Clarity... about the stance on legalisation ought to be endorsed and ought to be supported by some people who don't.

"I'm not saying it encourages them but it leaves the door open if people they admire and respect are saying this is an issue you shouldn't worry about."

On Tuesday however he said of his new role: "I am very pleased to be able to continue my work in helping reduce the supply of drugs to this country."

See also:

02 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Drug czar attacks cannabis debate
03 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Drug use 'levelling off'
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