Tony Benn dies, aged 88

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Over the last six years hundreds of youngsters have experience real-life journalism by being part of The Young Journalist Academy. During these eventful years our YJA reporters have interviewed many leading figures, including famous entertainers, designers, writers, sporting heroes and, of course, politicians.

TB3One of the most notable interviews was by Matt Orme, from Carre’s Grammar, when he met up with former cabinet minister Tony Benn, who has just died at the age of 88.

Mr Benn was a Labour MP for 50 years and challenged for the position of deputy leader in 1981

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, visited him recently, said: “He was an incredibly kind man. I did work experience with him at the age of 16. I may have been just a teenager but he treated me as an equal.”

Former prime minister Gordon Brown commented: “Mr Benn’s speeches will continue to have a “profound influence on generations to come.”

Dame Margaret Beckett told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Benn had been a brilliant speaker. “People who heard him speak up and down the country will never forget it,” she said. “He had such clarity of expression, he opened people’s eyes and he made them think.”

YJA is sure that 6th former Matt Orme, who was in Year 9 at the time of his interview, will agree with those sentiments.