chapter  6
13 Pages

Public relations in central government

From time to time ministers will meet the lobby correspondents. Every important British newspaper and agency has a lobby correspondent and usually a deputy as well. Lobby correspondents have the special privilege of access to the Members Lobby just outside the Chamber of the House of Commons. They therefore have the opportunity of discussing with ministers the political topics of the day. It is the code of lobby correspondents not to reveal the source of information given to them and therefore ministers can provide them with background information, or reveal the way in which they intend to deal with a particular subject. The existence of the lobby greatly eases communications between government departments and the press, especially as lobby correspondents are so easily contacted. However, ministers usually only go to the lobby at the invitation of the Lobby Correspondents Association.