Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 14:27 UK

Lobby correspondents

The "Lobby" is the name given to a small group of parliamentary journalists who enjoy privileged access to certain parts of Parliament.

The chief privilege is the right to enter the Members' Lobby (see plan of parliament) in order to interview MPs.

Information given to journalists in the Members' Lobby is given on "lobby terms" which means it may not be attributed to whoever released it.

Senior parliamentary journalists on newspapers and in TV and radio are recommended for membership of the Lobby by their employers.

They must then seek permission to join the Lobby from the Serjeant at Arms, who is responsible for administration and security within Parliament.

Lobby journalists are also invited to 10 Downing Street for regular briefings at which ministers and the prime minister's press secretary will seek to give journalists an "off the record" spin on the day's main political events.

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