An official in the Labour Party who came a close second place in a previous general election is ready for round two to become one of Reading’s MPs.

Olivia Bailey has announced her campaign to become the Labour Party candidate for the new Reading West & Mid Berkshire MP seat.

She last ran to become the MP for Reading West in 2017, receiving 22,435 votes.

She was beaten by Sir Alok Sharma, the incumbent Conservative MP, who received 25,311 votes winning with a majority of 2,876.

READ MORE: Sir Alok Sharma chooses not to stand as Reading MP in next election

Mrs Bailey said:  “I’m proud to put myself forward to contest my home seat for Labour.

“We ran against the Conservatives very close here before and polls show it will be a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives at the next election.

“I believe only Labour can deliver the fresh start Reading West & Mid Berkshire so desperately needs.

“Voters tell me they have had enough of Conservative chaos and want a hard working, local MP focused on the issues that matter to them like tackling the cost of living and crime.”

Mrs Bailey has already received messages of support from Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote) the leader of Reading Borough Council, who called her a warm engaging and effective campaigner, and Martin Salter, the former Labour MP for Reading West, who said her policy experience would allow her to ‘hit the ground running’ if elected.

She also received messages of support from Reading councillors Glenn Dennis (Labour, Kentwood) Ellie Emberson (Labour, Coley) and Jan Gavin (Labour, Caversham).

Mrs Bailey lives in the constituency and is married to cllr Finn McGoldrick (Labour, Norcot).

She was spotted at the creation of the Reading West & Mid Berkshire Labour Party, which happened at an annual general meeting held at the Calcot Centre at the end of last month.

READ MORE: Labour Party branch created to take on Conservatives in Reading and West Berkshire

In the years since her election loss in 2017, she served as a senior policy aide to party leader Sir Kier Starmer from 2020 to 2023, and as a director of Public First, a policy, research, opinion and strategy consultancy.

The new constituency covers the Kentwood, Norcot and Tilehurst wards of Reading and West Berkshire villages such as Pangbourne, Theale, Aldermaston and Burghfield, which is currently located in the Wokingham constituency.

The area was created when a redrawn political map of England was approved in the summer, which effectively abolishes the existing Reading West constituency once the next general election is called.

Olivia is the daughter of Dr Roy Bailey, a long-standing party activist, and the executive member for children, learning and young people on Bracknell Forest Council.

Dr Bailey was elected to Bracknell Forest Council in the local elections last year as a representative for the Town Centre & The Parks ward.