The leader of the Labour Party has called for a 'summer of real change' as he visited West Berkshire today on the campaign trail.

The Reading Chronicle was invited down to Woolhampton Cricket Club, along with other local newspapers, to speak to the Labour leader who was meeting campaigners as the general election looms.

The nation will take to the polls on Thursday, July 4, with a number of high-profile politicians visiting battlegrounds across Berkshire in recent weeks. 

Starmer came to show his support for the Labour candidate for the new Reading West and Mid Berkshire, Olivia Bailey. 

The constituency will be a new one, bringing together the Reading West (whose incumbent MP Conservative Alok Sharma is stepping down) and parts of the West Berkshire constituency. 

Speaking to a crowd of Labour supporters at Douai Park in Woolhampton, he said “It is really incredible to be here, for what I hope to be a summer of change, of real change.” 

His speech began by praising the Labour candidate, Bailey, who had previously worked under Starmer. He said Bailey was “part of a change in our party...a Labour Party that said no to gesture politics, yes to the politics of service”. 

The newly created constituency for this election covers West Reading suburbs and other villages in West Berkshire and has been identified as a target area for Labour. 

He continued: “She is a brilliant candidate here, and will be an even more brilliant MP when we get over the line on July 4.” 

Starmer’s speech focused on a “summer of change”, outlining key policies like introducing a publicly owned company Great British Energy, cutting down NHS waiting lists, cracking down on anti-social behaviour and recruiting more teachers. 

He said the upcoming election was “a very stark choice about a very, very real change that we can put on the agenda”, emphasising that Labour had “the first steps to ensure that we will get on with it from day one”. 

Criticising the Conservatives, Starmer said: “Imagine five more years of the Tories, after fourteen years of chaos, of decline and failure, when nobody can answer the question – it ought to be a simple question in any election – what is actually better now than fourteen years ago?” 

He also thanked the Labour activists present for helping Olivia Bailey’s campaign, before reminding his supporters that the work is not done yet.  

He said: “But we’ve still got a long way to go, not a single seat has been won. Every fight is an individual fight in an individual constituency where every single vote matters and we must carry that forward into the final weeks and days of this campaign. 

“Every vote counts, every vote needs to be earnt, and if you want change, you have to vote for it.” 

The Chronicle secured an interview with Starmer which will be published tomorrow. Check back for updates.