Labour has selected a trade union activist to fight for the Maidenhead MP seat during the next general election.

Jo Smith has been chosen as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Maidenhead.

She has lived in the constituency for more than 20 years and has worked as a trade union official for a rail union, and at present within an education union.

During that time she has also been the HR manager at a social housing group.

According to her biography from the Labour Party, Jo has built a strong reputation for her community activity and for embodying the values that are so important in public life – honesty, integrity, inclusion, collaboration – and for being prepared to put in the hard work on issues that affect people in our communities.

She has been particularly involved in campaigning around education issues, including challenging local school funding decisions, and supporting parents to challenge unfair school admissions plans.

Jo has worked in her area to ensure safe walking routes to school, and has supported many residents in individual casework around housing, benefits, employment and environmental issues.

She has been active in the Labour party in Maidenhead, including for a two-year term as its chair.

Jo said: “I am unbelievably proud to have been selected for this role, and am looking forward to continuing to campaign for Maidenhead residents. This is an exciting time with the realistic prospect of a Labour government after 14 years of successively worse Conservative governments.

“Within the Maidenhead constituency, early polls indicate it is Labour who is most likely to beat the Conservatives, so this is a huge opportunity for us to campaign on those issues that only a Labour government will deliver on.

“I am particularly keen to push for genuinely affordable homes; to reduce waiting lists and increase and modernise housing provision within the area; to build economic recovery to support our town centre and ensure the long talked about redevelopment can finally take place.

“As a keen swimmer and paddleboarder, I also want to continue to lobby for greater accountability for water companies, so our rivers are safe for recreation again. I am also fully supportive of Labour plans to take train companies back into public ownership and ensuring accountability to stop funding being leached out of the industry so it is run in the public interest.

“I know from talking to residents that these matters are important to them too. So I relish the opportunity of working as the MP for Maidenhead as part of a Labour Government to deliver a better future for us all in this constituency.”

Maidenhead is currently held by Theresa May, who announced that she will not be fighting for her seat at the next general election, creating a Conservative candidate selection process.

The newly wrought Maidenhead constituency created last summer covers the town, its satellite villages, and Binfield, Warfield Park and parts of Winkfield in Bracknell Forest.

Josh Reynolds, a councillor for Furze Platt ward, is standing as the candidate for the Liberal Democrats, with Andrew Cooney standing for the Greens and Barry Parker for Reform UK.