Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Reading Labour Party Council Selections

Word reaches me that the Reading Labour Party has been undertaking its selection of candidates for next year’s local elections:

Abbey – Sitting Councillor Mohammed Ayub has been reselected.

Battle – sitting Councillor Chris Maskell has been reselected to stand once again.

Caversham – Esther Walters

Church – Paul Woodward (49) has been selected. Educated at Charters School and Reading University, he is replacing former Councillor Malcolm Powers who stood in the last local elections.

Katesgrove – Matt Rodda has been selected to stand against sitting Lib Dem Gareth Epps. Rodda has stood a couple of times in Caversham and each time seen the Conservatives increased their majority. He also stood for Parliament in East Surrey in 2010 and before that was a journalist on the Independent.

Kentwood – Daya Pal Singh

Minster – Sitting Councillor Paul Gittings has been reselected.

Norcot – SItting Councillor Graeme Hoskin has been reselected.

Park – Richard McKenzie has been selected to stand once again in the ward he lost last year. He is famous for having coming fifth in the Henley by-election behind the Greens and BNP, with one of the worst scores Labour has ever achieved in a Parliamentary election.

Peppard – Dave Absolom

Redlands – Jan Gavin has been selected to attempt to regain this ward for Labour from sitting Lib Dem Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council Kirsten Bayes.

Southcote – Sitting Councillor Pete Ruhemann has been reselected.

Thames – Duncan Bruce has been selected to stand against sitting Councillor Jeanette Skeats.

Tilehurst – Former Councillor and Mayor Rose Williams will stand.

Whitley – Kelly Edwards has been selected to replace sitting Councillor Jim Hanley. Kelly stood in Redlands ward in May 2010 and lost to the Lib Dems. In 2005 she stood for Parliament in Hertsmere and was then passed over for selection for the Reading West candidature, losing out to Naz Sarkar. She will be hoping to improve on her electoral record in what has been until recently a safe Labour ward.

I would be interested to receive any further updates or information that anyone may have about Labour candidate selections.

While writing about selections I will add my voice to those who have commented on the smear tactics being perpetrated by some Labour Councillors and candidates. There seems to have been a concerted campaign to fabricate a story that Lib Dems and Conservatives either will not stand candidates against each other or will campaign for the other party’s candidate in some wards. This is complete tosh. Both parties are pledged to stand in every ward and actively promote their own candidates and policies. However, it would be surprising and disappointing if two parties that are in coalition descended into the kind of personal attacks and smears against each other that we have so often seen from Labour. I will post further articles in the future about Lib Dem and Conservative candidate selections.


November 22, 2010 - Posted by | Local


  1. It is all very well confirming that both the Tories and Lib Dems will contest every seat and actively promote their own candidates and polices. I note the use of the word “promote” as opposed to “campaign”. This is a lukewarm pledge at best and what assurances will you give that both parties will fight tooth and nail to win every seat instead of meekly standing on the sidelines when it suits them.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | November 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Phil – don’t be so silly! Of course both parties will campaign in exactly the same way as we normally do ie. constructively promoting our candidates, policies and achievements, rather than resorting to smear and fabrication which seems to be Labour’s stock-in-trade these days!

      Comment by Richard Willis | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Richard,
    I will be happy to share with you, and the wider public, the sources of the LibDem/Tory “Election Pact” at an appropriate point further down the line.
    Best wishes. Tony

    Comment by Tony Jones | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. Pete Ruhemann is standing again for Labour in Southcote according to their recent leaflet.

    The councillors here aren’t very visible and
    i think it could be an interesting contest.

    I am sickened by some of the mud slinging
    from Labour and really wish they would debate the issues rather than just knock.

    Comment by DAVE WARREN | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  4. Not really that interesting news they’ve announced all them on their stupid Twitter feed.

    Comment by Jim Loughlin | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  5. Richard,

    Thanks for the clarification. It will not have escaped your attention that Lib Dem councillors are defecting in their droves to Labour all over the country with Rochdale being a prime example. Any sign of similar disquiet in your neck of the woods?

    Comment by Phil the Greek | November 22, 2010 | Reply

  6. who is this Phil the Greek person? He seems to pop up occasionally just to drip poison around the place.

    Comment by Doodlebug | November 24, 2010 | Reply

  7. Doodlebug, one man’s meat, etc

    Comment by Jonny | November 25, 2010 | Reply

  8. The Greens, who I believe have chosen their Candidate for May, must be laughing all the way to the Civic Centre in Park. Putting Basher Mc Kenzie up again is handing the seat to the Greens on a plate. In the manner that the Lib-Dems have made Redlands and Katesgrove theirs I can see the Greens doing the same in Park.

    Comment by Steve Foley | November 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Steve – I can assure you that Cllr Hussain and the Conservative team will be campaigning very hard in Park ward to ensure that a great community representative remains on the Council. No plates will be handed to the Greens by us!

      Comment by Richard Willis | November 28, 2010 | Reply

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