‘AN AWFUL MP’: Conservatives’ new parliamentary candidate lays into Matt Rodda over his record

THE CONSERVATIVES’ prospective candidate for Reading East says that the current incumbent “has been an awful MP” and blasted him for “spending little time helping local constituents”.

Craig Morley, who was selected by local party members on Friday, August 2, added that Matt Rodda – who was elected in the 2017 General Election – was also guilty of riding on the coattails of others when it came to campaigning.

In a statement, the former British diplomat, and father-of-two said: “I’m honoured and delighted to be selected to fight my home town seat.

“Corbyn’s man Matt Rodda has been an awful MP for Reading East, spending little time helping local constituents and attaching himself to others’ campaigns instead of working hard for the change people need locally.

“It’s not surprising when Rodda is so close to Momentum and the inept Labour Council in Reading.

“Reading Council something I had the misfortune to grow up under and has made people’s lives worse recently by hiking parking and car permit charging, wasting millions on the failed MRT, and failing to get their accounts signed off.”

Mr Morley said that he lived in Woodley – part of Wokingham Borough Council – and attended both Woodley CofE Primary School and Waingels Copse Secondary School (now Waingels College).

Reading East is one of the Conservatives key target seats in any forthcoming General Election.

Before Mr Rodda took the seat, it had been held by Rob Wilson, who in turn had snatched the seat from Labour’s then-candidate Jane Griffiths.

It has been a marginal seat for more than 20 years, but the seat winner has also indicated which party would govern.

Reading East is also a strong Remain area, and parts of the constituency are also Green party strongholds on Reading Borough Council. The parliamentary seat also contains parts of Earley and Woodley.

Mr Morley grew up in Reading and was chosen by the Conservatives, receiving more than half of the votes cast in the first ballot.

He added: “I’m here to fight for real change for the people of Reading East. The next General Election is an opportunity for constituents to vote for a fresh Conservative candidate, brimming with ideas, and committed to standing up for local people.

“My local priorities are tackling crime, getting the best Brexit deal for Reading East, and working to solve [Reading’s] transport issues – I will strongly oppose any move for congestion charging by [Reading] Council.”

Both Mr Morley’s parents grew up in council houses, and his mother has been disabled since he was a child. His dad was a police officer locally for many years.

When he was 15, Mr Morley worked in The Oracle’s Disney Store when it opened in 1999. After university, he spent two years in China. He has most recently worked for the Foreign Office where he was a senior diplomat in China.

He now advises the University of Oxford on its international strategy and plans to move to Reading East with his young family.

Matt Rodda was contacted for comment, but is on holiday. He will respond in next week’s Wokingham Paper.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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  1. I’ve written to Matt Rodda on three occasions, and always recieved prompt and helpful replies, which is more than can be said for Rob Wilson. He strikes me as a very conscientious and hardworking MP.

  2. This guy clearly doesn’t have a clue. If there’s one thing you can say about Matt Rodda it’s that he is the most hard-working MP looking after his constituents’ interests you could hope for – unlike his Tory predecessor who was only interested in how many PR opportunities he could muscle in on.

  3. Shocked that you didn’t mention the fact that when he popped his head up on the Woodley Chats and Rants he didn’t quite get the reception he hoped for. Only maybe 2 people showed support for him while everyone else questioned and opposed his criticism of Matt Rodda and his understanding of how the local area works with the cross over with Wokingham.

    He came across as nasty and petty minded.

    1. His first attempt at self promotion social media was a complete disasters. It took minutes for people to challenge him and led to him eventually switching off his comments until an admin told him that was a breach of the group rules. He’s not been seen since after locals tore strips off him.

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