THE leader of the Labour Party and one of two front-runners to occupy Number 10 after next month's General Election addressed a large crowd at the Rivermead Leisure Centre earlier today. 

Arriving at 11.45am, Jeremy Corbyn stood with Reading East candidate Matt Rodda and Reading West candidate Olivia Bailey in front of several hundred Labour faithful. 

After introducing the crowd to 'your next Reading MPs' in a town with two marginal Conservative seats, Mr Corbyn delivered a speech that covered the key points of his manifesto.  

Reading Chronicle:

Beginning on the party's education policy, which includes 30 hours of free childcare for pre-school children and scrapping university tuition fees, the Islington North MP spoke about social inequality, mental health and the party's proposed national investment bank. 

Mr Corbyn's biggest applause of the speech came when he pledged to end zero-hour contracts and up the minimum wage to £10 an hour. 

His section on Brexit, which reiterated Labour's commitment to keeping Britain within Europe's tariff free market, was received far less generously. 

Reading Chronicle:

"The Tories called this election and thought it was all over," Mr Corbyn told the crowd. 

"They thought it was a case that their leader would go all around the country just trying not to say the name of her party and the election would be theirs. 

"But something has happened over the past weeks. Thousands and thousands of people have heard our manifesto. 

"It is a manifesto that will tranform this country. It will be for every body, not the few."

Mr Corbyn's visit saw him travel deep into Conservative home territory, with prime minister Theresa May's home address less than four miles away in Sonning and her constituency of Maidenhead just up the M4.