Rachel Eden takes Reading West selection over Unite rep

Sienna Rodgers

Rachel Eden has been picked to contest bellwether seat Reading West as Labour’s parliamentary candidate at the next general election.

The local councillor was backed by the Co-operative Party and Labour MP Anneliese Dodds.

At the selection meeting yesterday there were 20 votes between Eden and fellow Reading councillor Sarah Hacker, a Unite rep who was endorsed by Momentum and John McDonnell.

Hacker said she would continue to fight for the local area as a councillor.

Rebecca Geach, the other candidate on the shortlist, came third.

Local members are hoping to take the marginal seat, where incumbent Tory MP Alok Sharma has a slim majority of 2,876 votes. Labour’s June 2017 candidate in Reading West Olivia Bailey cut it down from 6,650.

Eden has experience of standing as a parliamentary candidate after fighting the Tory safe seat of Wantage last year.

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