If you have ever had a disagreement with family members over politics at the Friday night dinner table, spare a thought for Jacob Trup.
The 18-year old is one of the youngest council candidates in the country, standing in Barnet’s Totteridge ward for the Green Party. Among his fellow candidates is Caroline Stock — a current Tory councillor who is also his aunt.
“My family has always been very Conservative,” explained Mr Trup, who is a member of Woodside Park Synagogue in the North-West London borough.
“The idea that I was in the Green Party was always ignored, especially since they are not really a main party. I suppose they’re always seen as a bit of a joke.”
But the aspiring politician said that after representing the Greens in a mock election at his school he took a closer look at the party’s policies and found many of them appealed, especially the stance on Brexit — the Greens want to reverse it — and the Trident nuclear deterrent.
“Something like a billion pounds goes towards Trident every year,” Mr Trup said. “It doesn’t really make sense to me — that billion pounds could be used towards the NHS or social housing.”
He said “quite a lot” of his family were supportive but admits his decision to stand was “very divisive”.
“Obviously there’s a part of the family that isn’t so supportive, because they are very Conservative and also because they support Caroline, my aunt,” he said.
“But they are mostly in support, I think. They are proud that I’m standing to represent Totteridge.”
Fiona Trup, his mother, has mixed emotions. “Barnet is in such a precarious position at the moment because we’re on the cusp of losing to Labour,” she said. “I’m not convinced that it’s the best thing for Jacob to be doing, fighting against my sister, because the Conservatives clearly need all the votes they can get to hold the ward.
“But apart from that I’m a very proud mother. It’s amazing, he’s doing politics at school — Brampton College in Hendon — and he’s very politically minded. John Bercow is a cousin of ours.”
Mrs Trup said her son and sister were “literally next to each other on the ballot sheet”.
Although the election has left her “conflicted”, the nature of the poll means her voting choice is a lot easier.
“You get three votes, so I will be voting for them both,” she said.
Ms Stock added: “As a family we often have discussions and share our different opinions.
“We are extremely fortunate to live in a democracy which allows everyone to have their own points of view and it is wonderful for Jacob to want to get involved with local politics.”