High street campaigners protest against seventh mobile phone shop in Hampstead

Placard-wielding high street campaigners descended on Hampstead over the weekend to protest against the cloning of the village.

The protest was sparked by the opening of the seventh mobile phone shop.

Phones 4u moved into the old premises of Hampstead Health Shop, which closed after its owner fell behind in paying her rent after 26 years in Hampstead High Street.

The property is owned by PRUPIM, the property arm of international financial services company Prudential.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, an employment lawyer leading the campaign and armed with a megaphone said: “The high street is the heart of the community. Prudential must consider the social impact of its letting policy.

“Mobile phone shops just use the street for free advertising as they make money elsewhere.”

Spice Girl Melanie Chisolm, from Hampstead, also joined the protest, posting on social networking site Twitter: “Go! “Hampstead residents, today protesting against a new phones4U closing another local independent shop. Come on landlords.”

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The campaigners are considering a bid to become a pilot village for proposals to protect the high street outlined by Mary Portas in a government report.