Efforts by a staunchly Catholic Italian opposition party to rid politics of drugs have been undermined by a farcical sex and drugs scandal involving one of its members. The Christian Democrat UDC had organised for today a voluntary drugs test for MPs outside parliament. Over a hundred turned up to prove they were clean. The initiative comes a year after a satirical television show took secret samples of sweat from 50 politicians and found that a third of them tested positive for illegal drugs. UDC member Pierferdinando Casini said the tests had proven controversial and some parties had not backed their plans to impose compulsory testing for MPs. But his party’s credibility took a blow when a prostitute who had overdosed on cocaine was found in a luxury hotel room with a UDC member of parliament. Father-of-three Cosimo Mele insists he was unaware she was a prostitute and, when asked if he’d paid for sex, said he’d instead given her a present. The gift turned out to be cash. He denied any knowledge of the cocaine.