Labour MP taken aback as he wins Reading Central

Mr Rodda, who was the Labour MP for Reading East from 2017 to 2024, has been elected to represent Reading Central in Parliament today, Friday, July 5).

Immediately after his podium speech, in comments to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: “I’m just trying to take it all in all honesty.

“It’s a huge privilege to be re-elected, with a larger majority.

“I’m looking forward to working for local people to continuing all of the campaigning work we’ve been doing and also to support what I hope will be a Labour government to offer real change to the people of this country after what has been a very long and difficult period under the Conservatives and also the coalition government.”

He was then congratulated by his family, opponents, Reading Labour councillors, including cllr Liz Terry (Labour, Coley) the leader of Reading Borough Council and party activists.

Earlier in the night, Mr Rodda said he had been campaigning in ‘pretty much every corner’ of the constituency.

In his winning speech, he said: “I’d like to thank everybody for their support in me, and their support in the Labour Party, let’s hope we have a real opportunity to change this country for the better.”


He is now a three-time general election winner. Mr Rodda was first elected to Parliament as the Labour MP for Reading East in 2017, beating Rob Wilson, the Conservative MP from 2005 to that year.

Mr Rodda then increased his majority to 5,924, up by 2,175 votes from the previous election, when beat Craig Morley, the Conservative candidate in 2019.

Turnout in Reading Central was less than the turnouts for Reading East in the previous two elections.

There were 45,519 votes in total this year, 61.85 per cent of eligible voters.

Meanwhile, the total was 55,918 (72.6 per cent) in 2019 and 55,370 (73.1 per cent) in 2017 in the old Reading East constituency.

The now abolished constituency contained the previous Reading Borough wards of Abbey, Caversham, Church, Katesgrove, Mapledurham, Park, Peppard, Redlands, and Thames; and the Wokingham Borough wards of Bulmershe and Whitegates, Loddon, and South Lake.

Prior to becoming MP, Mr Rodda stood as the Labour candidate for East Surrey in 2010, where he came third behind the runner up Liberal Democrat and winning Conservative Sam Gyimah.

He later served as a Labour Reading Borough councillor for Katesgrove from 2011 to 2017.

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