A former council leader and veteran politician has become the first Liberal Democrat MP for Wokingham in its history.

Last week, Clive Jones, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, was elected as the MP for Wokingham following the general election held on Thursday, July 4.

He won with 25,743 votes over newcomer Conservative candidate Lucy Demery, who received 17,398 votes.

Mr Jones has lived in the Wokingham area for over 40 years, meeting his wife while playing for the Henley hockey club in the 1980s and 1990s.

Both his children were born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and, like me, attended local schools.

He previously had a career in the UK and European toy industry before taking an early retirement.

Mr Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, beating the disease after two operations, three months of chemotherapy and three months of radiotherapy.

He had previously run for the Wokingham constituency at the general elections in 2015 and 2017, coming in third place on both occasions to Andy Croy, the Labour candidate, and Sir John Redwood, the Conservative MP for Wokingham.

Mr Jones has served as a Wokingham Borough Councillor for eight years, being the leader of the opposition from October 2021 to May 2022.

He led the Liberal Democrats in Wokingham Borough to be in a position to take control of the council following the local elections in 2022, becoming the leader of the council in the 2022/23 municipal year in a working relationship with Labour and Independent councillors.

The Liberal Democrats were then able to gain full control of Wokingham Borough in the 2023 local elections, with Mr Jones passing the torch of the leadership of the council to councillor Stephen Conway, a representative for Twyford, Ruscombe and Hurst.

He represented the Hawkedon ward in Lower Earley from 2016 to 2024, stepping down ahead of this year's local elections to dedicate time for the general election fight.

Mr Jones still lives in Lower Earley, which was part of the Wokingham constituency before the political map of England was redrawn in the summer of last year.

He was denied a rematch with Sir John who stood down as the Conservative candidate on Friday, May 24, two days after the general election was called.

Sir John had served as the MP for Wokingham from 1987 to 2024, a total of 37 years and a victor of nine general elections.

Mr Jones was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Wokingham since March 2022 hosting party leader Sir Ed Davey in a visit to the town.

Sir Ed made several trips to the area since then, with recent visits to Wokingham Family Golf and a zumba class in Elms Field.

Mr Jones won with a majority of 8,345 votes. The reformed Wokingham constituency created in 2023 covers most of the borough, with the exception of Earley, Woodley and Shinfield.