A Reading Conservative councillor who has recently been re-elected has been accused of moving to the area in an attempt to become an MP for the town.

Councillor Clarence Mitchell, a Conservative representative for Emmer Green, received the criticism from cllr Karen Rowland, a Labour representative for Abbey ward.

Cllr Rowland tweeted a Planet Radio article from last year, in which cllr Mitchell told journalist Jonathan Richards that he had ambitions to dislodge Matt Rodda, the Labour MP for Reading East out of seat.

Commenting on the article, cllr Rowland wrote:  “Residents in the new Emmer Green ward are waking up today feeling like they’re being used… no doubt.

“No matter party affiliation, I expected every newly elected Cllr to be putting Reading first. Extremely disappointing…”

READ MORE: Reading council election 2022 results as Labour increase their majority on council 

It is correct that Clarence Mitchell served as the Conservative candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency for the General Election in 2015.

During that contest, cllr Mitchell came in third place, with Labour’s Purna Sen being the runner-up and Caroline Lucas winning her second term as the Green MP for the area.

In the Planet Radio article, cllr Mitchell said it would be presumptuous to say that he would be the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Reading East, and ultimately the decision to select him as a candidate lies with the Conservative association.

Cllr Mitchell responded to the criticism by saying he is committed to representing the people of Emmer Green following his re-election.

Reading Chronicle: Councillor Clarence Mitchell, Conservative representative for Emmer Green ward, at the 2022 local election count. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting ServiceCouncillor Clarence Mitchell, Conservative representative for Emmer Green ward, at the 2022 local election count. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Responding to the allegations to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, cllr Mitchell said: “I am utterly committed to putting Reading first in all I say and do and I was honoured that the people of Emmer Green were kind enough to recognise that by re-electing me last week for the next four years.

“I’m now going to spend that time doing my absolute best for them – and for Reading – every single day, not waste my time responding to yet another desperate smear attempt by Labour.

“Both the current Reading East Labour MP Matt Rodda and the former Conservative MP Rob Wilson were Reading Councillors before going to Westminster – so this bizarre, personalised attack doesn’t even make sense.

“And what’s wrong with wanting to achieve the best for Reading on the national stage anyway?

READ MORE: Reading Green leader reacts to election as he becomes head of opposition 

“If Labour want to, once again, display their own lack of ambition for Reading by sneering at their opponents and sounding threatened, that’s up to them – but the voters of Emmer Green have made it very clear what they expect of me.

“My sole focus now is on working to repay their trust every single day.”

Cllr Mitchell got the most votes of any candidate in the newly named Emmer Green ward, receiving 1,380 votes.

He was first elected as a Reading Borough councillor in 2021 for the Peppard ward, with 1,457 votes.