Press Release

RPS CEO responds to 'disingenuous' article about MP and pharmacist Taiwo Owatemi

RPS CEO Paul Bennett has written a letter responding to the political blogsite Guido Fawkes writing a 'disingenuous' article about pharmacist and MP Taiwo Owatemi entitled 'Serving Labour MP Admits to Selling Drugs'.

RPS are calling on media outlets and social media platforms to ensure they are taking action to stamp out racism, hate and prevent abusive trolling.

See the response letter from Paul Bennett, CEO of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, to the Guido Fawkes blogsite below.

Dear Sirs,

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the vital work that pharmacy teams do to ensure patients get access to expert medicines advice and health care. I’ve been so proud of the commitment and hard work pharmacists have displayed, and to see that recognised and valued publicly at last, has been very welcome.

Imagine my disappointment then, on seeing a recent article suggesting that an MP was doing something wrong by supporting the NHS and their local communities, only to realise that the article was referring to MP and pharmacist Taiwo Owatemi. Ms Owatemi is a member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy (APPG). While representing her constituents, she also supports the community as a pharmacist at the heart of her community. At a time when the NHS is under extreme pressure, we should be celebrating anyone who does what they can to support our health service during the current crisis.

The media coverage was at best disingenuous and at worst racist. This news story lit a spark under those that want to fan the flames of hate through hurtful and abusive trolling on social media.

At RPS, we recognise that everyone needs to do more to address inclusion and diversity, and we are working hard to ensure it is embedded in all the work we do. It’s now time for media outlets and social media platforms to do the same and ensure they are taking action to stamp out racism, hate and prevent abusive trolling.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Bennett


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