Suffolk One student aims to snatch county council seat for Labour Party
PUBLISHED: 14:26 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:26 12 April 2017
Political parties often struggle to get young people to vote – but that’s not a problem they have with 18-year-old Charlie Nixon.
He only became old enough go vote in February, but now he is standing for Labour in next month’s county council election.
He has been chosen to fight one of the toughest nuts for his party to crack – Samford in south Suffolk which includes Capel St Mary and East Bergholt is not natural Labour territory.
Mr Nixon is trying to unseat Conservative cabinet member Gordon Jones who is responsible for young people’s issues at Endeavour House.
He became candidate after helping to set up the Suffolk Young Labour Party (SYLP) last year.
He said, “We created the SYLP because we could see that lots of young people were interested in politics – we had shared values but we didn’t have anywhere to go.”
Through his involvement with the SYLP, he was approached by senior Labour figures in Ipswich and was asked if he would like to stand as a candidate this year.
He continues, “They (Labour) didn’t have a candidate (for Samford) and asked me if I would stand. I said yes as it will be such a great experience. I think they were eager to get me involved as it gives politics a younger voice. I’m happy to be that voice and now I’m on the campaign trail.”
The teenager first got interested in Politics during the 2015 general election and is inspired by his 94 year old grandfather who has lived in the same house in East Bergholt all his life.
“My Grandad, Walter Nixon, has been a member of the Labour party since the late forties. He was a trade unionist and stood up for the rights of his fellow workers.”
The Physics, Chemistry and Geography student at Suffolk One said: “I want to finish my A-levels and then get some industry experience – probably related to research and climate change.”
Deputy Principal at Suffolk One Jenny Milsom said: “Our students never cease to surprise me in a good way and Charlie’s story is inspirational. We wish him all the best during his campaign and firmly believe that this could be the start of a promising political career.”
In 2013 Mr Jones won the seat with a 250 majority over the LibDems, with UKIP in third and Labour back in fourth place – but many political careers start with a tough battle.