SNS Calls On PM To Review Lobby Changes

The Scottish Newspaper Society has joined forces with other bodies including the News Media Association to highlight concerns around changes to the way Government briefs lobby journalists in Westminster.   

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, SNS director John McLellan said he supported calls by national editors, the lobby, News Media Association, Society of Editors and others for a consultation through the Lobby Correspondents’ Committee.

Editors called on the Prime Minister to review the changes which could damage freedom of the press and curtail scrutiny of the administration.

In his letter, SNS director John McLellan said: “The Scottish editors understand and appreciate the goal of improving access to advisors and other government staff, but the changes in the afternoon in particular pose significant problems for the members of the Scottish Lobby, most of whom work alone.

“Beyond Fleet Street, with reporters from the Scotsman, Herald, Courier, Press & Journal and Daily Record, the Scottish Press is the best-represented group of publications in the Lobby and they will have to make their way from the Commons to Downing Street, get through the security gate and into Number 9, and then have to dash back across Whitehall to catch whatever business is going on in the House.

“As the Society of Editors and the News Media Association have requested, we too would respectfully suggest further consultation is held with the industry through the Lobby Committee to ensure the laudable desire to improve communications does not have the opposite effect and hampers Scottish correspondents’ abilities to cover daily parliamentary business.”