Former chancellor Rishi Sunak – a contender to become the UK’s next prime minister – has compared former leader Margaret Thatcher’s upbringing above her father’s grocers to his childhood helping in his mother’s pharmacy in Hampshire.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the MP for Richmond said: ‘[Thatcher] talked about the person at home with their family budget. She talked about that really powerfully. That resonated with me, because that’s how I was brought up.

‘My mum was a small businesswoman, she was a chemist. I worked in my mum’s small chemist in Southampton. I did my mum’s books – that was part of my job. I also did payroll and accounts every week and every month.’

Mr Sunak was raised in Southampton, where his mother Usha Sunak owned Sunak Pharmacy on Burgess Road between 1995 and 2014, when it was sold to PharmaLink. The pharmacy continues to run as Bassett Pharmacy.

Other contenders in the leadership race currently include Liz Truss, Tom Tugendhat, Penny Mordaunt, Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt, Kemi Badenoch, and Suella Braverman.

The first ballot will take place this afternoon (13 July), with a second tomorrow (14 July). Two candidates will remain by the end of next week, who will be voted on after the summer, with the next prime minister to be announced on 5 September.