Bees, beehives and dinner with Nelson Mandela! MP at centre of British news headlines speaks exclusively to Jill Dando News reporters 

By Tamsen, 14, PCSA, Sasha, 14, TKASA, and Lewis, 14, WCSA, Jill Dando News

Students from The Priory Learning Trust interviewed Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose and discovered his passion for bees, beehives and huge respect for 20th Century hero Nelson Mandela.

Young reporters from Worle Community School Academy, Priory Community School Academy and The King Alfred School Academy asked a variety of questions to the man at the centre of British news headlines last week.

Mr Penrose resigned as the Government’s Anti-Corruption Tsar and was featured on breaking news stories throughout the day – just days before the Jill Dando News interview.

Answering superb questions by the reporters, Mr Penrose said he were to go to a deserted island and only bring 3 items, he would bring fishing equipment, a phone and wifi hotspot, and his beehive, since one of his hobbies is beekeeping. 


If he could have any superpower, it would be flying. 

And, he would invite Nelson Mandela to dinner if he had the choice, because he would love to talk about all of his amazing achievements.

As you would expect, there were also plenty of political questions.

Two Good News child reporters who interviewed PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street

His advice for someone wanting to get into politics was to find a political campaign they are interested in, and get involved. 


His advice for being a good MP was to listen carefully to what people are saying, and make sure you understand what they’re saying, whether you agree or not. 

He added that similarly, “if you disagree with something, which you inevitably will in politics, you should remember to be respectful, and just because you have differing views, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re stupid.” 

He added that if you want to be a good Prime Minister, all the same apply, plus you shouldn’t get cut off front your roots, and remember why you got into that career in the first place. 

He also talked a bit about his decision to resign as Anti-Corruption Minister. 

He said that the Prime Minister’s letter was the main catalyst for it, because it “didn’t provide good enough answers” to important questions, so Mr Penrose felt that he didn’t have much choice.

When asked how he copes with stress, Mr Penrose says he copes by looking after his bees, spending time with family and exercising. 

His biggest local achievement as an MP was getting the least good local drug rehab centres to “clean up or close down” so people have better options.

And his biggest achievement nationally was getting English Heritage on a similar level to National Trust, so it’s self-funding rather than reliant on the Government and donations.

Tamsen, 13, said: “Thank you to Mr Penrose for his time and answers.”

Jill Dando reporters previously went to Downing Street to interview the prime minister in front of TV cameras.

For more stories from the Jill Dando News team click: