A LOCAL resident who grew up in Earley and Woodley has launched a campaign to become the next Labour MP for the area.

Annie Gallop has announced that she will be seeking selection as the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for the new Earley and Woodley constituency that was created this year.

She grew up in Frimley Close, Woodley, attending the nearby St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School and Maiden Erlegh School for her secondary education in Earley.

She said: “I’ve swam in the Thames at Sonning and worked in Suttons industrial park.

“I have family in Lower Earley and Spencers Wood, and The Bull at Sonning is our family pub.

“These communities are in my heart and I would be honoured to represent them, as a community-rooted disabled woman who will be a voice for all who want a fairer, kinder more equal future.”

Ms Gallop has kicked off her campaign by making visits to the Earley and Woodley constituency, which also covers Shinfield and the Reading Borough wards of Whitley and Church.

READ MORE: Earley and Woodley parliamentary constituency created as Berkshire's ninth MP seat

She said: “I have really enjoyed getting out and about to meet residents and visit community projects such as the Whitley CDG Community Cafe, which is amazing.

“I had an instant connection with this kind of initiative that -in my opinion- is the way to go forward in how this country rebuilds itself by community connections and realising that it can’t be a top-down format to be fully recognised and supported.

“I am disabled so I am not able to campaign in the traditional pounding the pavements way but I have been able to develop a different way of connecting.”

She is currently a councillor representing the Myatts Field ward on Lambeth Council in South London, which is controlled by the Labour and Co-operative Party.

Cllr Gallop serves as the vice-chairwoman of the overview and scrutiny committee and as the Mayor of Lambeth for the 2021-22 municipal year.

She was one of the first members of Unite Community, part of the Unite union, which provides training in Benefits Advice, public speaking and effective campaigning.

Cllr Gallop has pledged to advocate for council housing tenants if elected as an MP.

She said: “I was a local community activist long before becoming a councillor.

” I am a council tenant and am determined that this vital strata of housing that has been eroded for decades will be rebuilt to give security of tenure, a place for life.

“I established the award-winning Cowley Food Farm in Lambeth an estate vegetable growing project that was one of the first at the time.

“I have used my position as an elected Labour leader to transform lives.

“As the candidate for Earley and Woodley, I want to return to my roots to deliver and work for the communities that are so special to me.”

READ MORE: Arch Brexiteer joins Earley and Woodley Conservatives for party meeting

Cllr Gallop is the third candidate to announce intentions to become the Labour parliamentary candidate for Earley and Woodley.

Cllr Rachel Eden (Labour, Whitley) and former Hounslow councillor Hanif Khan are also competing to be selected.

The new Earley and Woodley Labour Party is expected to select its candidate prior to Christmas.

Meanwhile, the area’s Tories selected their candidate cllr Pauline Jorgensen (Conservative, Hillside) in the summer.