WHEN she left school two years ago, Jade Scott wondered what the future would hold.
She was taken on as a business administration apprentice in Hexham Conservative MP Guy Opperman's constituency office.
And now the 19-year-old, from Prudhoe, has been bitten so much by the political bug she is standing as a Conservative candidate in the forthcoming county council elections.
Jade, who will be 20 by the time she takes on veteran Labour-turned-Independent councillor Bill Garrett in Prudhoe South in May, said: “I've got interested in politics more and more since coming into Guy's office.
“At first I was studying business administration and then I was asked by Jon Aydon, the constituency office manager, if I would stand in Prudhoe.
“I've campaigned a lot with Guy and Jon throughout my apprenticeship and I'm used to it now.
“Once I get going, I will be fine. There are issues in Prudhoe, such as potholes and the town centre development that I have views on.”
The Conservatives are planning to fight all seats in Tynedale, with Jade one of eight new candidates along with nine further sitting candidates.
Mr Opperman, who handed Jade a year-long contract after her successful office apprenticeship, said: “Jade is a real worker.
“She already has experience of working hard for local people and would make an excellent local councillor.”
Two senior Tory figures are standing down at the May election – Edward Heslop at Humshaugh and Ingrid Brook in Hexham East.
Anne Dale, who left the party group last year, will stand as an Independent at Stocksfield and Broomhaugh and rural solicitor William Green will contest the Haydon and Hadrian seat held by Lib Dem Alan Sharp.
Former Northumberland chief fire officer Brian Hesler will stand for the Tories to challenge Lib Dem Steven Bridgett at Rothbury, while former soldier and British Empire medal recipient Tom Forrester is fighting Berwick North, where he is aiming to dislodge the Independent Brian Douglas.
At Bamburgh, Lib Dem sitting councillor Pat Scott will be challenged by Bamburgh Heritage Trust director John Woodman, and at Morpeth Kirkhill bus driver and former soldier Dave Herne will carry the Tory flag against Lib Dem occupant Andrew Tebbutt.