Campaigning to protect Reading FC and Reading Gaol are among the top local issues Reading’s MP is vowing to fight for as the politician returns to parliament following last week’s general election. 

Mr Rodda was first elected as the Labour MP for Reading East in the 2017 general election but this is the time the town’s MP will be working for the party in power, having previously been in opposition.

In this year's election, Mr Rodda came first winning 21,598 votes, with a majority of 12,637 over runner-up councillor Raj Singh, the Conservative candidate.

Laying out his priorities now he has been re-elected, Mr Rodda said: "The country has been through 14 very difficult years under the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition and under Conservative governments.

"We've had a very low rate of growth, a cost of living crisis and a series of other problems affecting our public services.

"I will campaign hard in our own community for better public services, more investment in vital shared things such as [Reading] Gaol, supporting Reading Football Club and many other local causes."

As the MP from 2019-2024, he pushed for tighter tests on football club owners, joined the Sell Before we Dai campaign, and supported efforts to strengthen the Online Safety Bill after the murder of Olly Stephens in January 2021.

Mr Rodda also pushed for the reform of the schools' inspector Ofsted following the death of Caversham Primary headteacher Ruth Perry in 2023.

He was appointed the shadow minister for Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property in September last year.

In his victory speech, Mr Rodda clarified that he has only been able to conduct this work as an opposition MP, and looked forward to the opportunity for 'real change' under a Labour government.

Prior to becoming an MP, he was a councillor for Katesgrove ward on Reading Borough Council, being elected in 2011 and 2015. In 2010, he stood as the Labour candidate for the East Surrey constituency where he came third behind the runner-up Liberal Democrat David Lee and winning Conservative Sam Gyimah.

Mr Rodda was educated at the University of Sussex in the 1980s. After graduating, he worked as a journalist for the Coventry Telegraph and The Independent newspapers in the 1990s.

Prior to Mr Rodda, the old constituency was held by Rob Wilson, who was the Conservative MP there since 2005.

Mr Wilson himself won three elections in 2005, 2010 and 2015 before being beaten by Mr Rodda in 2017.

It was an election Mr Rodda won with 27,093 votes and a 3,749 majority over Mr Wilson, in a rematch as he had lost to Mr Wilson as the Labour candidate in 2015.

During the general election in 2019, Mr Rodda won with 27,102 votes and a 5,924 vote majority. He was selected as the Labour candidate for Reading Central after the political map of England was redrawn last summer.