Financial Times's Jean Eaglesham is new Lobby chair

Jean Eaglesham, chief political correspondent at the Financial Times, has been elected chairman of the Lobby – the group of journalists officially accredited to cover Parliament.

Eaglesham, who takes over from Daily Mail political editor Benedict Brogan, said parliamentary reporting and the role of Lobby journalists had evolved in the online age.

“All of us in the lobby now are focused on getting stories out as quickly as possible, wherever they arise from,” she said.

“The focus is more on exactly what the Government and opposition parties are doing and saying rather than formal parliamentary proceedings.”

Eaglesham dismissed any suggestion that the need for constant “rolling” news has diminished the quality of parliamentary reporting.

She said: “Clearly it’s a risk we’re all aware of, however, now we also have the added value of more analysis and breaking news through blogging and other online content. Things change so fast now, it’s fascinating.”

She revealed that the Lobby currently had a good relationship with prime minister Gordon Brown, saying there was “a good degree of openness” after the the “strained” press relations at the end of Tony Blair’s 10-year premiership.

And she said that a general election this year was still “an outside bet”.

There have been four female chairs of the Lobby. The first was Julia Langdon in 1987, then political editor of the Daily Mirror.

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