James Cleverly expresses remorse for his “shocking” joke about date rape drugs during a function at No 10.

The Home Secretary expressed that the key to a lasting marriage was drugging one’s spouse, coinciding with the announcement of a new policy on spiking. James Cleverly has issued an apology for joking about spiking his wife’s drink with a date rape drug during a reception at Downing Street. The remarks were made just hours after the Home Office revealed plans to crack down on the act of spiking, which involves secretly putting drugs into someone’s drink or body without their consent. Cleverly joked that it was “not really illegal” to slip a little bit of Rohypnol into his wife’s drink every night, and added that maintaining a long marriage involved keeping one’s spouse continuously sedated. The comments were reported by the Sunday Mirror, who decided to break the usual convention of treating conversations at Downing Street receptions as “off the record” due to Cleverly’s position and the nature of the subject. A spokesperson for the Home Secretary stated that the comments were intended as an ironic joke and apologized for them. Cleverly and his wife, Susie, met while attending university and have two children. Prominent figures from the Labour Party criticized Cleverly’s remarks, with Shadow Minister Alex Davies-Jones describing them as “appalling”. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper expressed disbelief that such jokes were made on the same day the government announced new policies regarding spiking, a crime that has severe consequences for young women. While ministers have pledged to update the language used in legislation to clearly define spiking as a crime and have introduced other measures to combat it, they did not go so far as to create a specific offense for spiking. In a previous incident, Cleverly apologized in the House of Commons for using inappropriate language towards another MP, denying that he referred to the latter’s constituency as a “shit-hole”. As the new Home Secretary, Cleverly succeeded Suella Braverman in the role. During the apology in the Commons, Cleverly emphasized that he rejected the accusation that he criticized the constituency and offered his apologies for his use of inappropriate language.

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