Leader of the opposition Michael Howard, has told regional press parliamentary correspondents that they are “arguably more influential than any other part of the media”, writes Dominic Ponsford.
Howard was speaking at the annual lunch of the Newspaper Conference, the umbrella group for regional press journalists working at Westminster.
He said: “All the MPs in the room know the lengths we will go to for our local newspapers. I will take part in any photo opportunity. I will open any building I can.
“One thing is very clear to me. As the range of news sources becomes ever wider, so the importance of local news grows.
Life for many people is not just increasingly frantic – it is increasingly local.”
The lunch was held at the Lanesborough Hotel and was attended by political journalists, editors and newspaper executives from across the regional press.
Guests included prospective parliamentary candidate Ed Balls, Edward Garnier MP and John Battle MP.