Viewers accuse Janet Street-Porter of being “jealous” of fellow Loose Women panellist

Panellists at loggerheads after Prince William re-opens 'legalisation' debate

If there’s one topic that’s sure to get people hot under the collar, it’s the legalisation of drugs. And when the issue reared its head again on today’s Loose Women, we thought it might come to blows.

On one side, we had Penny Lancaster, who was very much against the idea of legitimising substances like marijuana.

On the other, we had Janet Street-Porter, who insisted that alcohol is a much bigger problem to society.

And oh, how they fought – bickering, gesticulating and talking over each other, until Janet finally cut the conversation dead with a cutting snipe at her co-star.

Penny was very much in the ‘anti-drugs’ camp (Credit: ITV)

The segment followed newspaper reports that Prince William had asked recovering addicts if they felt that drugs should be legalised.

Discussing the issue, the Loose Women started off in a reasonably civilised manner, with Andrea McLean putting it to the panel – which also included Maya Jama – that keeping drugs illegal might dissuade people from experimenting with them.

But Janet was on her high horse from the word go, pointing out that the number of people who try drugs has not gone down despite them being against the law, and suggesting that experimenting is “just part of growing up”.

Though she said she didn’t condone people taking Class A drugs to “dangerous levels”, she did state that soft drugs don’t cause any more problems than alcohol.

Penny, 46 – who’s married to rock star Rod Stewart – then pointed out that marijuana stays in the human body for two weeks – considerably longer than alcohol.

Janet and Penny were at odds over the discussion (Credit: ITV)

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And with the two women clearly at loggerheads, the discussion soon descended into a full-on spat.

“So why have we got a National Health Service clogged up with injuries and diseases caused by alcohol addiction?” spat Janet.

“I’m not saying alcohol is a great thing for children, but what we’re talking about here is legalising marijuana,” retorted Penny.

At this point, Andrea tried to keep the peace, interjecting: “Please don’t talk over each other – take turns.”

And that’s when Janet gave a sly smile and scoffed: “Well, Penny can just take over the show, then, and put her point of view. But why don’t we ask Maya?”

Cue the gasps from the audience…

Andrea played peacekeeper as her colleagues bickered (Credit: ITV)

And viewers at home were pretty shocked at Janet’s comment, too. One tweeted: “Seems our Janet got a bit jealous of Penny’s airtime there.”

And another said: “Ooh, Janet Street Porter DOES NOT like Penny Lancaster.”

“Janet and Penny obviously can’t stand each other. Go Penny, I agree with you!” added a third.

A fourth said: “Wow, Janet’s body language! Doesn’t like Penny!!”

Read more: Janet Street-Porter receives backlash after “insensitive” comment

It’s not the first time Janet has caused controversy on Loose Women, of course.

Only last week, she said she would rather slash her wrists than put up another Christmas tree, a comment that provoked a backlash among viewers on social media.