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‘Be prepared to fall down’: Pharmacy MP candidates’ election reflections

“Humbling”, “historic” and “a big challenge” – pharmacy parliamentary candidates recount what it’s like to run in an election.  

After the Labour Party secured a historic majority last week (July 5), the pharmacy sector’s parliamentary candidates have taken to social media to reflect on the experience.

Chief executive of the IPA Leyla Hannbeck said that the experience had “taught [her] so much - to go into the unknown, embrace a big challenge and develop resilience” in a LinkedIn post yesterday (July 7).

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Broadland and Fakenham finished fourth with 5,526 votes in a seat won by Conservative Jerome Mayhew with 16,322 votes, just 700 ahead of the Labour candidate.

Hannbeck said that the “election results in the area were disappointing, but not unexpected”, adding that “we were not a priority seat and did not expect to win but our aim was to get a decent number of votes, which we did”.

She thanked constituency members, campaign volunteers and IPA members for their support and said the campaign was “very enlightening and inspiring”.

Adding that she had never stood in an election before and does not live in the rural Norfolk region, she said it was “totally outside of [her] comfort zone but a challenge [she] was prepared to take on and learn from”.

“I learned so much about life and people…It also taught me that you must be prepared to fall down but you can get up again if you have the will,” she added.


“My chance to say thank you”


Meanwhile today (July 8), new Labour MP and superintendent pharmacist of PillTime Sadik Al-Hassan took to X (formerly twitter) to thank “those who put their trust” in him.

Al-Hassan’s 639 vote majority ousted the tory grandee Sir Liam Fox, who had represented North Somerset for more than 30 years.

“On my way to work in my new role in UK Parliament on behalf of North Somerset”, he said today.

“It is time for me to fight for our fair share and deliver for the people,” he added. 

Yesterday (July 7), Al-Hassan said that he was “immensely proud” to celebrate the “historic win” in the North Somerset town of Nailsea.

“It was my chance to say thank you to all of [the] leafleteers, canvassers, polling station tellers, social media warriors, campaign coordinators and so many others who made this possible,” he added.


“Truly humbling”


Registered pharmacist and previous chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) Taiwo Owatemi also expressed her “gratitude to the people of Coventry North West” in an X post last week (July 5).

The Labour MP retained her seat in Coventry North West with an increased share of the vote. 

“Your trust in me, in our shared vision, for a brighter future, is truly humbling,” she added. 

Today, she said that she was “on [her] way back to Westminster” and that “over the next few weeks, [her] team will be catching up with all non-emergency cases sent to [her] office during [the] dissolution [of parliament]… Let’s do this!”

It comes after Community Pharmacy England (CPE) last week (July 5) said that it “will be seeking early meetings with new government ministers” at the Department of Health and Social Care (DH).

However, it stressed that formal negotiations on a new funding deal may not begin for “some weeks”, even in a “best-case scenario”.

The negotiator added that “no spending commitments to pharmacy have been made” and warned that “the Labour Party has been clear that it will follow the preceding government’s fiscal rules, meaning public finances will remain very challenging across the board”.

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