A teenage Conservative activist from Hartlepool is hoping to be elected as the area’s youngest councillor next May.
Seventeen-year-old Isaac Duffy has been selected as the Tory candidate for Hart Ward and hopes he can bring fresh ideas to benefit the residents of his constituency.
But his loyalty to the party came as a surprise to his family, who have strong Labour roots.
“I got involved in the party when I was 14 years old,” he said.
“My mother is a Conservative member, but wasn’t always – as I am coming from hardcore Labour voters, so it was a surprise for them.”
But Isaac, who has lived in Hart for 14 years and has been involved in the party since 2011, said despite their political differences his family have remained supportive.
“I’m proud to have been chosen as Hart’s candidate – a ward I have a deep personal connection to and call my home,” he said
“It was great to see the Conservatives come so close to winning there this year – and I think the result showed that residents want a fresh face with fresh ideas; someone who really wants to push for change in our local area.”
While other students have been enjoying summer holidays, the Hartlepool Sixth Form College student has been starting his campaign for the hotly contested council seat.
Isaac’s main competition will be Labour Councillor, Jean Robinson, and UKIP, which also did well in the seat. Taking the council seat for the Tories would possibly make him the youngest councillor in Britain and he hopes he can inspire young people to get involved in politics.
“People my age are quite indifferent to politics and I think that is a great shame,” he said.
“I am trying to get young people involved in politics.
“I understand more than anyone the problems faced by working people, and think it’s time we had a representative that listened to their electors.”
In August 2014, Isaac was elected as regional chairman of Conservative Future; being the youngest ever person to hold the role. In March 2015, he was elected as deputy chairman of Hartlepool Conservatives – making him the youngest deputy in the country.
“If elected, I’d make sure I did all I could to act on the views of residents and help improve our local communities,” he said.
“What Hart needs is a strong local voice on the council who delivers on his promises and cares about what ordinary hard-working people have to say. I hope I can be that person.”
The Conservatives are currently the joint second largest party in Hartlepool and securing Hart for the Tories would put the Conservatives back in second place to Labour.
Coun Ray Martin-Wells, the chairman of Hartlepool Conservatives and representative of the Rural West ward, said Isaac would represent the Hart ward “exceptionally well”.
“I have known Isaac since he was 14 and he has always come across as a very enthusiastic young man,” he said.
“I was delighted to support his nomination for Conservatives in the Hart ward.
“I think Isaac would represent the people of the Hart ward exceptionally well and I believe he would bring fresh ideas to the ward.
“I will be keeping an eye on all aspects of his campaign and should he succeed I will welcome him on the council.”