The Liberal Democrats have hit back at leaks that state their candidates have ‘no chance to win’ in two new Reading MP seats.

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning in Reading for months, announcing their parliamentary candidates for the three new MP seats in the area in February.

Leaked briefing packs for the parliamentary candidates state that they will be ‘unable to win’ and are ‘unexpected to win’ in two new constituencies.

Screenshots of the briefing documents have been leaked to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Helen Belcher is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency.

The briefing document issued to her states: “It should be understood that despite containing a plurality of Liberal Democrat councillors Reading West & Mid Berks is not a seat the Liberal Democrats will be able to win in this election.

“However, it is a seat where, with work, Liberal Democrats can win in a future election.”

Reading Chronicle: Liberal Democrat candidates Henry Wright (Reading Central), Helen Belcher (Reading West and Mid Berkshire) and Tahir Maher (Earley and Woodley). Credit: Adrian Betteridge, Liberal DemocratsLiberal Democrat candidates Henry Wright (Reading Central), Helen Belcher (Reading West and Mid Berkshire) and Tahir Maher (Earley and Woodley). Credit: Adrian Betteridge, Liberal Democrats

Tahir Maher is the party’s candidate briefing for the Earley and Woodley constituency.

The briefing pack issued to him states: “Earley and Woodley is not a seat the Lib Dems expect to win in the next election.”

Both of these excerpts are written in bold in the briefing documents, which go on to recommend activists focus on winning in the Wokingham and Newbury constituencies.

READ MORE: Battleground in Reading suburbs as main parties select candidates for new MP seat

But the Lib Dems have pushed back against the leak of the documents when confronted with them.

A spokesperson for the local Liberal Democrats said: “The Liberal Democrats are in second place against the Conservatives across large parts of Berkshire, and we will be targeting our resources where we can win, including the ultra-marginal seat of Wokingham.”

The spokesperson added the briefing documents are ‘old’ and were written ‘some time ago’.

The new constituencies were officially created last summer.

Henry Wright is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the new Reading Central constituency, which covers the Reading Borough areas of West Reading, East Reading, Caversham and Katesgrove.

The LDRS has not had sight of the briefing pack issued to Mr Wright, but Reading Central is considered a safe seat for Labour.

Mrs Belcher, who is a councillor in Corsham, Wiltshire, faces off against Ross Mackinnon, the Conservative candidate and Olivia Bailey, who is standing for the Labour Party.

Former Lib Dem and now Independent candidate Adrian Abbs, Carolyn Culver for the Greens and Kate Bosley, the Reform candidate are also in the running.

Mr Maher will take on Pauline Jorgensen, the Conservative candidate and Yuan Yang for the Labour Party.

Candidates for the Green Party and Reform UK in Earley and Woodley have not officially been selected yet.

In Reading Central, Mr Wright will take on Matt Rodda MP, the Labour candidate, Dave McElroy, standing for the Greens, and Andy Williams, the Reform Party candidate.

The general election will be held on Thursday, July 4.