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GE24: AIMp chief Leyla Hannbeck to contest Norfolk seat for Lib Dems

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GE24: AIMp chief Leyla Hannbeck to contest Norfolk seat for Lib Dems

Pharmacy trade body chief Leyla Hannbeck will contest the Broadland and Fakenham constituency for the Liberal Democrats in the next general election, P3pharmacy can reveal.

Ms Hannbeck, who has been chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies since 2019, will battle to win the redrawn Norfolk constituency from the Conservative Party.   

AIMp issued a statement on Tuesday March 5 revealing that Ms Hannbeck had been selected as a prospective parliamentary candidate to stand in the next general election. The statement, which encouraged the electorate to “vote Pharmacy,” did not disclose which political party or constituency she would seek to represent.

P3pharmacy can now reveal that she will stand in Broadland and Fakenham, which has an electorate of 72,907 voters and 23 individual wards. 

Conservative politician Jerome Mayhew won the seat of Broadland in the 2019 election with 59.6 per cent of the local vote, giving him a 21,861-strong majority. As part of the 2023 review of Westminster constituencies, the seat has been renamed Broadland and Fakenham and redrawn with minor boundary changes.

Ambition to ‘put pharmacy on the map’ 

Ms Hannbeck has garnered significant national media coverage in recent years as a campaigning voice for the community pharmacy sector. In an interview with P3pharmacy last March, she said: “I’m a pharmacist myself and wanted to boost the profile of the profession.

“It starts by putting our profession on the map and making people see we’ve been there throughout. If the wrong decisions continue to be made then local pharmacies and the accessibility we offer will no longer be there.”

She has been a frequent critic of the Government’s approach to pharmacies in England, and in her address at the Sigma Pharmaceuticals conference last week said the £2.592bn annual global sum must be doubled in order to ensure the sector’s sustainability.

Her party has also attacked Conservative policy on pharmacies. In February, Liberal Democrat deputy leader and health spokesperson Daisy Cooper welcomed the launch of Pharmacy First as a “long overdue step” but added: “With one hand the Conservatives are asking pharmacists to do more but with the other, they’ve cut millions of pounds of funding and overseen many closures.”

If successful, Ms Hannbeck would follow in the footsteps of former Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Sandra Gidley, who served as Liberal Democrat MP for Romsey in Hampshire from 2000 to 2010.

Both Ms Hannbeck and the Broadland and Fakenham local Liberal Democrat party have been approached for comment.

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