Caroline Janvier, a member of French President Emmanuel Macrons’ Renaissance party, says drugs and alcohol use are often rampant at parties attended by Government officials.
In an interview with French magazine Paris Match, she said there were examples of “addictive practices” and that she believed politics produces “deviant” behaviour.
“Yes, there are evenings where drugs circulate, just as there are dinners or the end of parliamentary sessions where there is excessive alcohol consumption,” said Janvier, a member of the majority since 2017 and of the Assembly Bureau.
“It is done more during the night sessions. It was suggested to the Assembly Office that it [alcohol] no longer be served at the bar but that was the end of it,” she said.
“There are also no sanctions because there would have to be tangible evidence, such as a blood-alcohol test. This seems excessive if consumption is not a crime.”
Janvier admitted to having drunk alcohol daily and smoking heavily before eventually quitting both habits.
She said she saw a connection between substance abuse and the stress officials are under professionally.
“I draw a link between the nonsensical night sessions, the hectic pace of life, the pressure of a demanding schedule, and the need to avoid mistakes in dealing with the media,” she said.
“Either you have an excellent lifestyle or you take something to keep you going.
“They are under unbelievable pressure. I talk to some of them and have no judgement but empathy,” Janvier added.
Another parliamentarian, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were approached at the end of a night session by colleagues who suggested going to parties where there would be “drugs and sex” available.
The claims of such alleged behaviour comes after Senator Joël Guerriau was accused of drugging representative Sandrine Jasso to have sex with her. Jasso said the champagne she was offered at his home had a “weird taste” and she was able to make her escape. The police said they later found drugs at Guerriau’s premises.
He was subsequently arrested “on suspicion of administering a substance with the intent to commit rape or sexual assault” and dropped by his political party, Horizons.
Guerriau claimed the drugs were for personal use to help him deal with difficulties he was having, including a friend having cancer and his cat having recently died.
He had been at the centre of controversy previously, in 2016, after he shared an explicit image of his penis, a so-called “dick pick”, on his Twitter account.
"Soit vous avez une excellente hygiène de vie, soit vous prenez quelque chose pour tenir" dit @CarolineJanvier, qui brise le silence sur la drogue et l'alcool dans le monde #Politique, dans @ParisMatch. Après l'affaire #guerriau https://t.co/n0tBFNhv6J
— Florent Buisson (@FlBuisson) November 29, 2023