A Labour councillor from Reading has launched a campaign to be her party’s candidate for the new Earley and Woodley MP seat at the next general election.

The Earley and Woodley parliamentary constituency was created this summer in a redrawing of the political map of England which determines how people will be represented by MPs in Parliament.

The constituency will be established as part of the next general election.

It is made up of Earley, Woodley and Shinfield in Wokingham Borough, and also the Whitley and Church council wards of Reading Borough.

Now, councillor Rachel Eden (Labour, Whitley), who served as the Mayor of Reading from 2022-23, has officially announced that she will be seeking selection.

Cllr Eden “I am Rachel Eden and I’m asking for your support to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Earley and Woodley.

“I’m proud to have represented Whitley Ward as a councillor here in our new constituency for over 13 years.

“As Mayor of Reading, I’ve worked with communities across South Reading and in Earley and Woodley, day in and day out.

“I work with small businesses and charities here in our constituency and beyond.

“After 13 years of Tory chaos, I know just how much we need a Labour government.

“We know the Conservatives will fight tooth and nail to win Earley and Woodley, but if we want a labour government, we have to beat them.”


Cllr Pauline Jorgensen (Conservative, Hillside) was announced as the Conservative candidate for the Earley and Woodley in the summer.

Cllr Jorgensen is also the leader of the opposition on Wokingham Borough Council, and she is the candidate cllr Eden will need to beat.

Cllr Eden said: “We need a candidate who is ready from day one, ready to campaign and ready to deliver.

“I am that candidate as a campaigner, as a counsellor, as a trade unionist. I have got things done.

“I’ve used cooperative values to get renewable energy installed on public and community buildings across the Reading area. Working with Unison, I won a living wage and fair terms and conditions for home care workers in the private sector, and I delivered the first new council housing to our area in a generation.”

Cllr Eden has run as an MP before, as a candidate for Wantage in 2017 and Reading West in 2019.

On both occasions, she lost out to Conservative incumbents. In 2019, she received 20,276 votes, being beaten by incumbent Conservative MP Alok Sharma, who won 24,393 votes.

Cllr Eden said: “As a parliamentary candidate in 2017 and 2019.

“I outperformed the national swing.

“I’ve spoken up for labour and represented the party regionally and nationally, but I’m also a local mum and small business owner. I know our communities inside out, and I’m known by our communities.

“I’m ready to hit the ground running as your labour candidate and MP. I will work from day one to build a united team and reach everyone across our new constituency. Join my campaign so that we can be ready to win together.”

Earley and Woodley Labour members will vote for their candidate to represent them at a party meeting, where hustings and a vote will be held.

The Liberal Democrats have not selected their candidate for the new MP seat yet.