A TILEHURST councillor will stand as the Conservative candidate for the main MP seat in Reading for the general election in July.

Councillor Raj Singh, who represents Kentwood in Tilehurst, has been chosen by his Conservative colleagues as the parliamentary candidate for the new Reading Central constituency.

He will face off against Matt Rodda, the current MP for the Reading East constituency who is running to keep the seat he has held for seven years.

Paul Carnell, agent and campaign lead for the Reading Central Conservatives said: “I am delighted to say that Raj Singh, the Kentwood Councillor, has been selected to fight the Reading Central seat in the general election.

“He is looking forward to meeting people across Reading as the campaign progresses.

“The association have seen how Raj has worked hard for the residents of Kentwood and look forward to him working hard for the people of Reading Central and we wish him every success.”

Cllr Singh has been elected in local elections three times in 2018, 2022 and 2023.

During the 2018 local elections, he beat cllr Glenn Dennis (Labour, Kentwood), the current mayor, by six votes.

READ MORE: History made as first black Mayor of Reading is sworn in

In cllr Singh’s time as a councillor, he has campaigned against the scrapping of free 30-minute weekday car parking at the Dunstall Close and Recreation Road car parks and advocated for neighbours affected by this year’s floods.

He has also pushed for action against flytipping and raised the issue of accessibility in the town centre.

In the general election that will be held on Thursday, July 4 cllr Singh will face off not only against Mr Rodda MP, fellow councillor Dave McElroy as the Green candidate, Henry Wright for the Liberal Democrats and Andy Williams, the Reform party candidate.

Reading Central is one of the three Reading constituencies created after the political map of England was redrawn for this general election.

The other constituencies are Reading West and Mid Berkshire, and Earley and Woodley.

Sir Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for the Reading West constituency announced in September last year that he would be standing down after 14 years of being an MP.  The Conservatives subsequently selected Ross Mackinnon, a senior Conservative councillor on West Berkshire Council to fight for that seat.

Mr Mackinnon is contending against Olivia Bailey as the Labour candidate, Helen Belcher for the Liberal Democrats, cllr Carolyn Culver for the Greens, and Kate Bosley as the Reform candidate.