Labour not conceding in Newbury or new Mid Berkshire constituencies, despite declaring them non-battleground seats
Labour has listed both the Newbury and the new Reading West and Mid Berkshire parliamentary seats as 'non battleground' constituencies.
But it is insisting that it will field candidates in both – although no names will be announced in January.
Labour says 211 of the seats in the general election are 'non battleground'. But the local party says they are not giving up.
"Labour will be proud to contest this new seat and to give residents a real alternative to vote for,” said Charles Croal of the Reading West Labour group. “We shall be announcing our candidate in the near future.
"In last May’s district elections, there was a swing away from the Lib Dems to Labour in Calcot and Tilehurst and we won our first West Berkshire councillor for many years.
“We also polled well in the Reading borough wards that are being carried over into Reading West and Mid Berkshire.
"Much of the new seat was in Reading West and many residents remember Labour’s Martin Salter as the best MP they have ever had.
"In the General Election, Labour will be campaigning on a positive message for the residents of Reading West and Mid Berkshire, and for the British people as a whole."
The Conservatives have yet to put up a candidate for the new Reading West and Mid Berks seat, but also say they will have someone to run next to Laura Farris in Newbury in January.
The Lib Dems, meanwhile, have leapt on the 'non battleground' theme.
Helen Belcher, the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Reading West and Mid Berkshire, said: “It’s a relief to see that the Labour Party are admitting, at last, that the contest for Reading West and Mid Berkshire is between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.
“The Liberal Democrat campaign is already underway – we are serious in wanting to win this seat.”
Dr John Grout, the chair of the Reading Liberal Democrats, added: “We are already seeing the benefit of being the first party to select a candidate for Reading West and Mid Berkshire.
“We are finding so many voters wanting a change of government and willing to vote for us.
“Helen will be a marvellous MP and has already shown she’s working hard to win the seat.”