Parliamentary hopeful Liberal Democrat Clive Jones has accused Conservative MP John Redwood of “trying to mislead” residents in Wokingham.

Wokingham Borough Council leader Clive Jones has announced he plans to stand down from the role to focus on campaigning to be elected as MP.

However, the news was met with a scathing response from current MP John Redwood who said on Thursday, May 11, that Jones had “made a mess” of Wokingham Borough Council during his time as leader.

In a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Redwood accused Jones of putting up council tax and “wasting large sums of money”.

He also said Jones had made it more difficult to drive to the shops, failed to mend potholes, failed to control house building, “threatened to undermine” bin collections, and put up car parking charges.

in return, Jones has accused Redwood of 'being disingenuous with his comments'. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that Conservative councillors had planned the same council tax increase when they were in charge.

He added: “The Conservative government have also been pressing local councils to increase council tax by the maximum allowed.

“It was also his government that starved Wokingham of cash for 14 years when Wokingham has been the lowest funded unitary authority in the country.”

READ MORE: Wokingham MP John Redwood hits back at Lib Dem Clive Jones

Jones refuted Redwood’s accusations over potholes, housebuilding and refuse collection, saying: “He says Lib Dems failed to mend potholes – not true. The conservative budget of 2021-22 has been maintained.

“He forgets that his party cut the pothole budget in Wokingham by £1.7m between 2019-22. The Conservative were given extra money to spend on potholes in 2021-22, but didn't spend it on potholes. Why?

“He says the Lib Dems undermined the refuge collection – rubbish. The new system will save £1m a year and increase re-cycling. The new system is also supported by thousands of residents across the borough.”

On housebuilding, he said the previous Conservatives’ plan "wasn't complete”. Adding: "Is he saying that 4,500 houses at Hall Farm should remain in the local plan?”

Jones also defended the council’s record on spending, saying they had funded free school meals during holidays and established a cost of living hardship fund. He said Tory plans to save time at traffic lights would have “cost millions of pounds.”

And he said the council had raised parking charges "reluctantly” due to the previous Conservative administration’s "financial incompetence”.

“There was a £800k hole in the revenue budget for car park charges for 2022-23. This was on top of the £4m+ hole in the budget they had left for the Lib Dems to deal with,” he said.

“Come on John Redwood don't try to mislead residents in Wokingham.”

Jones became leader of Wokingham Borough Council following local elections in 2022, but plans to formally step down at a full council meeting on May 18. He is campaigning to be elected Wokingham MP in a general election likely to take place next year.