A leading politician has claimed there are no 'no-go zones' for Labour in an election battleground in Berkshire.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves visited the new Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency with the general election campaign beginning in earnest.

Voters go to the polls on Thursday, July 4.

Mrs Reeves met Labour MP candidates and activists at the bank of the River Thames in the village of Pangbourne.

Describing Labour's aims if they achieve power, Mrs Reeves said: "Our first step to grow the economy and tackle the cost of living crisis is to bring stability back to our economy, and after 14 years of chaos and decline, stability is change.

"That stability will enable families to be able to plan for the future, and businesses to invest with confidence.

"That's why everything in our manifesto will be fully costed and fully funded, so that never again can we have a government that will play fast and loose with the public finances in the way that the Conservatives just did 18 months ago."

READ MORE: Which way the three Reading MP seats could go if a general election was called today 

Addressing concern over reforms to state benefits, Mrs Reeves said: "The first thing is that everyone who can work should work, and that's a really important principle but people also need support to get back to work.

"We've got 7.6 million on NHS hospital waiting lists, and of course many of those people have had to put their lives on hold and are not able to work."

Mrs Reeves has pledged that Labour would make changes to allow 40,000 more health appointments per week to speed up care.

But can Labour compete in area that has been held by the Conservatives since 2010?

Mrs Reeves replied: "Under Sir Keir Starmer's leadership there are no areas that are no-go areas for Labour, Kier Starmer has changed the Labour Party so that we might have the chance to change our country for the better and turn the page on 14 years of chaos and decline.

"Liv Bailey is a fantastic candidate, she lives locally, her children go to school locally, she's the daughter of a local police officer, she is deeply supportive of and embedded in this community and has already been campaigning hard for that new Royal Berkshire Hospital, so she's a strong Labour candidate.

Reading Chronicle: The general election campaign has kicked off as Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, visited Reading MP candidates in Pangbourne, in the new Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency.The general election campaign has kicked off as Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, visited Reading MP candidates in Pangbourne, in the new Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency. (Image: James Aldridge, LDRS)

"But it's also clear that there is a clear choice in this constituency between Labour and the Conservatives. "People when they go to the ballot boxes on July 4 will know whether they're voting for either five more years of chaos under the Conservatives or change and a fresh start with Labour."

The campaign event was attended by the three Labour candidates for Reading, Olivia Bailey for Reading West and Mid Berkshire, Matt Rodda MP, standing in Reading Central, and Yuan Yang, a candidate in the new Earley and Woodley seat.

Liv Bailey said: "This is my community, I love this place, and I'm standing to be the local MP to fight for it in Parliament, and to get our public services back on track. "I want to see more police on our streets, I want to see more doctor and nurse appointments and sewage out of our rivers."

READ MORE: Fighting talk from politicians as general election is called 

Pangbourne has been located in the Reading West constituency, which is currently held by Conservative MP Sir Alok Sharma.

The constituency has existed for 41 years, from 1983 to now, and is regarded as a Conservative stronghold.

From 1983-1997 it was held by the Conservatives, with Martin Salter for Labour holding the seat from 1997-2010, with Sir Alok serving as the MP since then.

Liv Bailey faces Ross Mackinnon, the Conservative candidate, Helen Belcher for the Liberal Democrats, councillor Carolyne Culver who is standing for the Greens and Reform's Kate Bosley.