Woman, 96, is Newcastle council election candidate

Woman, 96, is Newcastle council election candidate
Woman, 96, is Newcastle council election candidate
Image copyright PA
Image caption Florence Kirkby was 18 when World War Two started

A 96-year-old woman is standing in Thursday's council elections.

Florence Kirkby, from Newcastle, who is standing in the city, is believed to be one of the country's oldest candidates.

She was involved in politics from a young age because her father was an early member of the Labour Party and a close friend of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

She said she "thought it was time there was somebody who could take a stand" and would be "looking to the future".

Having worked as a teacher and headmistress of several schools, Miss Kirkby was awarded an MBE for services to education in 2013.

'Young optimism'

She taught evacuees in Blackpool during World War Two and said the war made her realise how important democracy was.

Miss Kirkby advised first-time voters to "make up their own minds and not be too guided by people they know".

Asked how her father might feel about her running for the Conservatives, she joked that he abandoned some of his youthful ideals in later life and ended up investing in property.

"You start off young and full of optimism then, in middle age, you get a bit more realistic about what you can achieve," she said.

You can see a list of the candidates standing in the local elections in Newcastle by clicking here.

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