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Westminster journalists gear up for annual meet

Westminster-based editors and correspondents will appoint a new chairman of the Newspaper Conference at their annual meeting at the end of this month.

Mark Hookham, of the Yorkshire Evening Post, will take on the role and current chairman John Hipwood, London editor of the Express & Star in Wolverhampton, will become vice chairman. A new deputy chairman will also be appointed.

Administered by the Newspaper Society, the Newspaper Conference is made up of those who work remotely for local and regional newspapers across the country.

Chairmen serve a year-long tenure during which they host lunches with senior politicians and other guest speakers for conference members to quiz.

At the Newspaper Conference annual lunch in December, guest speaker Prime Minister Gordon Brown told of a “new era of politics” in which local papers would play a crucial role in building stronger communities.