A local press trainee reporter landed the political exclusive everyone is talking about after a Labour election candidate branded Gordon Brown ‘the worst PM ever’.
The front page of today’s edition of the twice-weekly Lynn News carries Sophie Wyllie’s interview, with Manish Sood, who is standing for Labour in North West Norfolk.
In the interview, he says: “I believe Gordon Brown has been the worst Prime Minister we have had in this country.”
“It is a disgrace and he owes an apology to the people and the Queen,” Mr Sood adds.
Sophie, above left, qualified as a trainee reporter last summer and started work with the Johnston Press title in September.
She told HTFP: “We were doing a general round-up of the candidates for North West Norfolk to get them to give us 100 words, saying what they would achieve, and he just said that statement.
“I wrote them up and it dawned on me what he had said so I rang him back to confirm what he had said and elaborate on what he thought. He was absolutely fine about it.
“The round-ups are in the paper today and we’ve put in what he said there as well.”
The front page of the Lynn News (below) has been receiving plenty of airtime with both BBC News and Sky News referencing the story while the newsroom has been inundated with calls today, including one from a Danish radio station.
The outgoing MP is Tory Henry Bellingham who has held the seat since 2001 and is standing again.
Referring to the media storm, she added: “It’s so exciting. I was quite surprised when he said it but I didn’t think it would be this big.”
Lynn News editor Jon Buss said: “We’ve had calls from abroad and all the top news channels. I am very proud of Sophie and all the news team for actually making the election interesting.
“It’s quite a big deal to break this story on the Tuesday before the election and the reaction has shown that it’s a great story.
“We have a got a paper to produce for Friday but the news editor has not been off the phone, dealing with various enquiries.
“I just hope that the people we’re aiming at, our readers, go out to buy it today.”
Mandy (04/05/2010 12:49:23)
“Manish has been divorced from this campaign for some time,” according to the Chairman of North West Norfolk Constituency Labour Party. Therefore, he’s bound to come out with drivel like this. Nothing new. This has been given far too much coverage.
Former hack off for a cup of tea (04/05/2010 13:13:50)
MWell done Sophie! As a reader of the Lynn News I would like to pass on my congratulations for this wonderful scoop. The paper is stuffed full of local news and offers great value for money. Well done to all the news team. RE Man
Hengist Pod (04/05/2010 13:32:38)
Is ‘Mand” Peter Mandelson?
Seasoned hack (04/05/2010 13:54:05)
Congratulations. You can dine out on that story for years to come. But don’t rest on your laurels!
Jimmy (05/05/2010 12:41:32)
Not even a byline for the girl from the look of the front (although she may have got one inside). What a shame.
Mean Old Ed (06/05/2010 12:37:39)
Yes, she got one inside. And she should count herself lucky.
Teacher (06/05/2010 14:27:32)
Nice work – but one point to learn and I hope her boss and mentor have said this; ringing someone back to check their quote is opening the door to them denying ever saying it and threatening you with an injunction. If he said it the first time, she should have a shorthand note in a well ordered notebook. End of.