MANY new councillors might regale you with tales of how they cut their teeth with a few political beatings.

Not so for new man Lorcan Whitehead.

The 32-year-old joined the Labour Party in 2015 on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader.

Up until then, he’d been politically aware, but not political but something about the new leader’s ideology drew him in.

Less than three years later, he’s a Colchester borough councillor, having taken the New Town and Christ Church seat from the Liberal Democrats.

It was one of two wards which had no sitting councillor - stalwart Annie Feltham had opted not to re-stand - and was therefore destined to be a target for all parties.

But Labour hit it hard for the first time in years.

In the end, it was a comfortable victory and he garnered 500 votes more than his nearest challenger.

The dad-of-one said: “We were confident but that goes back a year probably to when Lee Scordis was mounting his [Essex County Council] Abbey Division campaign.

“I live in Harsnett Road and that was the first road I knocked and it turned out there were a lot Labour supporters in and around there but we hadn’t knocked for 30 years.

“They were waiting for a long time for someone to show an interest and it turned out there were a lot of Labour voters and supporters.”

Mr Whitehead, a learning and teaching advisor at Essex University, added: “That gave us a lot of confidence last year and moving forward into the borough elections.”

Fast forward a year and he was fighting his own campaign. And winning well.

Was it first time lucky?

“Maybe,” he said.

“It’s been a whirlwind alright. It was my first time standing and actually only the second count I’d been to so it was all very new.”

One thing which didn’t go unnoticed during the campaign is his connection to the Momentum movement.

Formed in 2015, the leftist group aims to create a more “people-powered” Labour Party.

It has, though, been targeted by critics on the right.

Indeed even Colchester Liberal Democrat leader Martin Goss said the Momentum element within Labour’s group needed to be “controlled”.

But Mr Whitehead said: “For some time, I think the Labour Party hasn’t been comfortable in its identity and I’ve felt as though the party wasn’t confident enough to put its face out there to people in case they didn’t like it.

“I’m the opposite. I prefer people to know my views and if they want to support them, that’s great, and if they don’t, that’s fine.

“I think people appreciate the honesty which comes with that.”

He added: “Momentum is an organisation formed by people who have an interest in politics and left leaning policies and to be a member of Momentum, you have to be a member of the Labour Party.

“We are all members of the Labour Party first and we all share those values and the fact that people come together in Momentum doesn’t make us any less a member of the Labour Party.”

Turning to the future, he laughed off any talk of rising through the ranks immediately, adding: “From my point of view, I know I’m new to this and there is a lot of learning I have to do.

“So I’ll be focussing majorly on making sure the people of New Town and Christ Church think they’ve made the right decision in electing me.

“Down the line, who knows, but there is definitely an element of needing to prove myself first I think.”