Candidates for the general election are ready for a political fight on the big day after the huge news that the election will be held this summer.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Conservative MP for Richmond, announced yesterday (May 22) that the election will take place on Thursday, July 4.

The political map of England was redrawn last summer, creating the parliamentary constituencies of Reading Central, Earley and Woodley, and Reading West and Mid Berkshire.

Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East and his part’s candidate for Reading Central said: “The country desperately needs a change of Government and I welcome the announcement of the General Election.

“I hope the campaign will be a chance to talk about the changes the country needs: economic stability, cutting NHS waiting times, tackling crime and antisocial behaviour, more teachers, investment in green energy and a new border command to smash criminal gangs.”

In his reaction to the election news, councillor Dave McElroy, the Green candidate for Reading Central, said: “Wow, there’re a lot of people looking forward to scratching that itch. For me,

“I can’t wait to stand up as an alternative to the dinosaurs who got us here.

“And demanding that water, hospitals and homes are for people not profit. That sort of thing.

“An alternative to the kind of party can’t bring itself to say no to cutting off water and power to children, no ifs no buts.  Absolutely no circumstances where that is ok.

“Anyway, hopefully people recognize that the solution to our current situation can’t be more of the same. And consider voting for a party they want to win, rather than voting against a party they want to lose.”

Cllr McElroy is a councillor for Redlands ward who was re-elected this year.

Meanwhile, Henry Wright, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Reading Central said: “With the Conservatives running the country into the ground over the last decade, and Labour having run Reading for my entire life, it’s clear that nothing will change in Reading if you vote Conservative or Labour.”

He has implored voters to vote for ‘real change’ with the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservatives do not have a candidate yet, with Andy Williams being listed as the candidate for Reform.

In the suburbs, a potential three-way battle between the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the new Earley and Woodley constituency.

The new constituency covers the eponymous towns, Whitley, Shinfield, Sonning and some surrounding villages.

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, the Conservative candidate for Earley and Woodley said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has called the General Election. I’ve been talking with people across the whole of the new constituency since the day I was selected as the Conservative Party candidate in June last year.

“I have also been active in the heart of the constituency, working to help residents, for the many years I have been a Borough Councillor.

“This is my home, and to serve the residents of Earley and Woodley in Parliament would be the highest honour.

“I’m looking forward to supporting our community by standing up against unsustainable development; tackling anti-social behaviour and crime; reducing NHS waiting times; supporting better education for our kids; driving better economic development; and providing better quality public services.

“Indeed, this week I was visiting the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading to discuss their plans for tackling waiting lists and driving innovation, including the new hospital build project, which is underway. It was the Conservative Party who developed the Long Term Plan, the Long Term Workforce Plan, and the Digital Plan for Health and Social Care. I look forward to championing their investment case for the new hospital. We are the party of the NHS.”

“Over the coming weeks, I’m excited to continue to talk with residents and to help Rishi Sunak deliver a brighter future for Earley & Woodley and for Britain.”

Cllr Jorgensen serves as the leader of the opposition at Wokingham Borough Council and as a representative for Hillside in Lower Earley.

Her opponent Yuan Yang for Labour has pledged that a new government will deliver a new Royal Berkshire Hospital and “create a brighter future for everyone.”

Meanwhile, another challenger Tahir Maher said: “only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for Earley and Woodley.”

He listed his priorities as fixing the NHS, tackling the cost of living and crime in our area, and building a caring society

Although Reform will be standing a candidate in Earley and Woodley, it is understood a definite selection has not been made yet.