Newly elected Carl Johnson today shrugged off concerns about his age and pledged: “I’m proud to serve.”
The law student is one of the youngest councillors in the country having been elected to represent Battle Hill for Labour on North Tyneside Council.
Just weeks into the campaign trail, the Chronicle reported how the 19-year-old former Churchill Community College student claimed to be a victim of age discrimination.
His claim came after a leaflet written by Focus Team candidate Chris Croft – and delivered to hundreds of homes – incorrectly described him as an 18-year-old school leaver. Mr Croft also wrote in the flyer Carl’s degree could take ‘massive amounts of time and effort’ to get the result he needs.
But Thursday’s local election saw the Northumbria University student scoop 1,556 votes compared to Mr Croft’s 883.
Wallsend-born Carl said: “It was a fantastic feeling hearing the result getting announced and winning with such a majority. It was brilliant to know the people of Battle Hill had put their trust in me to be their councillor.”
“All the hard work on the campaign trail paid off and people have seen thorough the attempt from the Focus Team to discuss my age as if it was relevant to my performance as a councillor.”
Just days after Carl appeared in the Chronicle hundreds of well wishers posted on his Facebook page and Twitter account to tell him his age didn’t matter.
A letter from a 94-year-old resident living in a sheltered housing scheme in Battle Hill also gave Carl the thumbs-up.
Labour Councillor Lesley Spillard, who also represents the Battle Hill ward, said: “Is it any wonder that young people don’t bother getting involved with their communities? Carl has been working in the ward for two years.”
Former councillor Mr Croft, had represented the ward for four years, first as a Liberal Democrat.
He denies he brought up Carl’s age to be negative and said he had concerns the Labour Party have placed too much responsibility on him as he completes his studies.
Article from Chronicle