A 21-year old Pinner United shul member has become one of the first Jewish student to be elected president of the Cambridge Union, the world’s oldest and most prestigious debating society.

Jonah Surkes, who rose to national prominence recently by ‘photo-bombing’ TV chef Mary Berry, spoke of his “surprise and honour” after winning the chance to direct the debates for the Lent Term.

Final year student Surkes, from Rickmansworth, is preparing for a hectic term as he aims to graduate Human, Social and Political Sciences at Clare College, Cambridge.

He’ll have to avoid distractions such as taking actress Emma Thompson on a night out in Cambridge after she spoke to students. He later described the Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee star as “a great dancer”.

Jonah Surkes (right) with Democratic politician Bernie Sanders

Surkes has previously acted as Speakers Officer at the Union, during which time he secured the appearances of U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders, as well as former Tory leader Lord Michael Howard.

“It was with great surprise and honour that I was elected President of the Cambridge Union,” said Surkes. “I am especially proud to join a rich strain of Jewish voices in university debate at a time when we are having important discussions over what constitutes free speech.”

Jonah with actress Emma Thompson