Liberal Democrats announce General Election candidates for Reading

5 Feb 2024

The Liberal Democrats have announced their candidates for Parliamentary seats across Reading, with their candidates for Reading Central, Earley and Woodley, and Reading West and Mid-Berkshire all now in place for the next general election. 

For Reading Central, local NHS worker Henry Wright has been selected by members in the constituency. Born in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Henry grew up in Spencers Wood before moving back to Reading to train as a teacher, and then changing careers to work for the NHS. He stood for the Liberal Democrats in Park Ward in last year's local elections.

For Earley and Woodley, former Mayor of Earley Tahir Maher has been selected by local members.  A trained accountant, Tahir now works in projects and transformation for Transport for London.  A long-standing Earley resident, Tahir has represented Earley as a Town, and previously Borough, Councillor for many years.  

Last autumn, Liberal Democrat local members selected their candidate for the hotly-contested Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency, as the party hopes to put another hole in the Conservatives’ Blue Wall. National campaigner Helen Belcher OBE will be fighting the two-horse race for the party. Born in Battle Hospital, Helen grew up in Burghfield Common, and has stood for the Liberal Democrats before in Berkshire and neighbouring Wiltshire.

The Liberal Democrats will be campaigning to be local champions for Reading and the surrounding area at Westminster, fighting to protect our vital local services and keep sewage out of our rivers.

Reading Central candidate Henry Wright said:

“Labour in Reading have taken their eye off the ball and allowed local people’s services to crumble on their watch. People are telling me they want change, and having run the council in Reading for decades, it's clear that Labour can't bring that change.

“It’s time for a Liberal Democrat candidate to take the stage and get our people and our services the fair deal we know they deserve.”

Earley and Woodley candidate Tahir Maher said

“I am ready to work tirelessly for my community in the new Earley and Woodley seat, as I have done for the people of Earley and Wokingham Borough over the last twenty years. We need to stand up for our local services, our environment, and our democracy, and I will do just that.  I am also standing to bring back a caring society and one that values all residents.

“I want to be a hard-working and considerate MP for our area, which has been left behind for too long by the national government.”

Reading West and Mid Berkshire candidate Helen Belcher said:

“I have been speaking to people across Reading West and Mid Berkshire since my selection in the autumn. Their anger with our government is palpable, but it's clear they don't feel Labour has the solutions either. They are crying out for change - and with Henry and Tahir in place beside me, we can give them that change right across Reading.

“They deserve local champions who will fight for our NHS, for cleaner rivers, and for saving public services - instead of yet more Conservative chaos.”