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New political role for Journal's Zoe

Zoe Hughes, political editor of The Journal in Newcastle, has been elected as the new chairman of the Newspaper Conference.

The conference represents London editors and political correspondents of regional newspapers which are members of the Newspaper Society. She will lead it for the next year, succeeding Jonathan Walker from the Birmingham Post and Mail.

Zoe has worked in Parliament for five years, and before joining The Journal in September 2004 she worked as chief parliamentary reporter for Northcliffe Newspapers Group.

She began her career on the Lancaster Guardian, and has also worked on the Garstang Courier, Basingstoke Gazette, and for the Press Association in Portsmouth.

Zoe said: “I am delighted to be chosen as the new chairman of the Newspaper Conference. The Conference plays an important role in building relationships between the regional lobby and MPs.

“The regional press is read by 83.6 per cent of adults and people trust their local newspaper to tell them the facts without political agenda.

“We write for local people on the stories that matter to them in their day-to-day lives. The same issues that politicians need to address when they communicate with voters.”

The conference revolves around a series of lunch meetings at which senior politicians are invited to address the members and answer questions relevant to regional newspapers. Guests over the past year have included Tony Blair, David Cameron, Charles Clarke, David Miliband and David Davis.