Bracknell elected its first ever Labour MP in an historic election result on July 4.

Peter Swallow will serve as the town’s brand-new representative after narrowly beating the incumbent Tory MP, James Sunderland, by 784 votes.

Born in Wokingham, Mr Swallow grew up in Crowthorne, Bracknell.

The 31-year-old has a more unusual background than many other prospective or sitting MPs. Before entering the hallowed halls of Westminster, Mr Swallow worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Durham.

A classicist, his academic work specialises in the natural science of Aristotle. He has had a book as well as academic journal articles published. Before Durham, he also worked at King’s College London and taught at Goldsmiths university. He has also worked as a schoolteacher.

He enjoys running in his spare time, having completed the Bracknell Half Marathon in May. He raised almost £600 for Home Start Bracknell, a charity supporting parents who have young children dealing with issues like isolation, mental health or disabilities.

Working in the university sector and as a school governor, education is an issue close to his heart. Since 2017 he has worked with the Advocating Classics Education project, which expands access to classical education in schools. He is particularly interested in supporting greater provision for special education needs.

Speaking to the News following his victory, he said Bracknell was facing ‘massive issues with local provision’, but that it was a ‘national crisis and it required national solutions’.

In a Q&A with the News in the run up to the general election, he said he was ‘determined to give Bracknell a fresh start’, believing that ‘its best days lie ahead’. He highlighted key challenges facing Bracknell that he wanted to tackle as MP – including access to GP appointments and healthcare services and the cost of living. He also said he would tackle anti-social behaviour, which would positively impact struggling high streets.

Mr Swallow will be amongst the younger crowd of MPs in parliament, in his early thirties. Those in his age category only made up around a sixth of all those sitting in the House of Commons.

The new MP for Bracknell said he was dedicated in restoring ‘service’ in his victory speech after the results were announced in the early hours of July 5. He thanked residents for placing their trust in him – many of whom would have never voted for Labour before.