MP for Witham Priti Patel is encouraging her constituents to take part in this year’s summer reading challenge.

The Big Friendly Read, a scheme throughout Essex libraries, is running until September 3 and children who manage to read six books earn a certificate and medal.

Ms Patel has supported reading in her constituency by launching her Get Witham Reading initiative which has led to reading days being held in local schools.

Speaking after visiting Witham Library to support the summer reading challenge scheme she said: "The Big Friendly Read gives young people a great chance to read for fun over the summer.

"Many young people in my constituency are taking part in the challenge to read six books and there’s still time for others to sign up and take part at their local library."

Details on the Big Friendly Read can be found online. Visit