'Without your help, Rishi, many chemists will close for ever'
Step inside Prime Minister Rishi Sunaks former family pharmacy in a leafy suburb of Southampton, and you wouldnt guess that Britains High Street chemists are collapsing en masse under the weight of a financial crisis and overwhelming demand.
Mr Sunaks mother Usha owned the well-ordered shop between 1995 and 2014. In recent years, the Prime Minister has spoken fondly of how he used to help her fill in prescriptions and do the accounts.
This wasnt some humble life above a shop, though. Mr Sunaks pharmacist mother and NHS GP father paid for him to attend the world-famous Winchester College public school (where boarding fees are currently 45,936 a year), where he was head boy.
A sense of social advantage persists today: the pharmacy sits on a small parade between beauty clinics and a delicatessen butchers, overlooking wooded parkland, on a hill of large, comfortable detached homes. On the wall outside, the pharmacys original Art Deco clock still keeps perfect time. Inside the store, now renamed Bassett Pharmacy, the pharmacist greets me politely but warily.
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