Catriona Matheson and Neil Richardson penned resignation letter to drugs minister Angela Constance, alleging rushing their work risks public safety.

The chair and vice chair of the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce have resigned after being told to get a move on.

The Record can reveal that Professor Catriona Matheson and deputy Neil Richardson mutinied after being ordered by Scotland’s drugs minister Angela Constance to produce a blueprint for urgent reform by the summer – months earlier than first laid down.

The bombshell by Constance was conveyed earlier this month – and the two bosses immediately jumped ship, drafting a scathing joint letter two days before Christmas that denounced the way they were being hustled along.

It is now thought the Taskforce – which had been accused in Parliament of moving at a “snail’s pace” could be reshaped or even disbanded in the wake of the fracas.

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