A former bursary recipient has landed the scoop everyone wanted- an exclusive interview with politician and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestant Nadine Dorries.
Hayley O’Keeffe, who was a Journalism Diversity Fund bursary recipient in 2008, scooped the national press to land the interview for the Bedford Times & Citizen, where she now works as a reporter.
A member of the Conservative Party, Ms Dorries has been making national headlines over her decision to go into the Australian jungle and feature as a contestant in the ITV programme I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Conservative chief whip, Sir George Young, has since withdrawn the whip from the Mid-Bedfordshire MP.
In her interview for the paper, Ms Dorries said the show would be an opportunity to discuss her campaign to reduce the abortion limit to 20 weeks and her support for London Mayor Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister.
Hayley, who recently passed her National Certificate Examination (NCE), landed the interview after a recent trip to Parliament in support of the paper’s petrol prices campaign.
She said: “During the meeting she told me she was going abroad in November but to keep it a secret, and forget about what she’d said until nearer the time. I put two and two together and texted Nadine a few weeks ago – and she gave me the exclusive interview!”
Hayley added: “I’m really glad that she trusted me and I’m so excited to get the scoop everyone has wanted all week.
“Part of the embargo agreement was that I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone in my office about it, only my editor knew. It was a bit nerve wracking on deadline day- I don’t know what I’m going to top it with next week!”
Editor of the Bedford Times & Citizen, Jim Stewart, said: “This story comes down to having a good journalist who was able to build up trust with a key contact by being trustworthy and honest.
“There were plenty of other newspapers, including the nationals, who Nadine could have gone to with this exclusive interview. But she knew that the Times & Citizen, and Hayley specifically, could be trusted to give her a fair hearing.”
Read the full article in the Bedford Times and Citizen here.