Copyright, etc, the Indy..
By Guy Adams
25 February 2005
* The Sky News political editor Adam Boulton - one of the biggest beasts in the Westminster village - is involved in a delightful row with his colleagues in the parliamentary press corps.
In a move that highlights growing confusion over the "lobby" rules governing political journalism, Boulton has been reprimanded for breaking the code covering political journos' behaviour.
It follows a briefing on Wednesday, at which Downing Street spokesman Tom Kelly told reporters the Lord Chancellor would shortly be making an announcement about the royal wedding.
Boulton immediately text-messaged his newsdesk with the news, allowing them to broadcast the breaking story ahead of the BBC and the Press Association.
Unfortunately, lobby hacks are forbidden from contacting bosses during briefings. So Nick Assinder, the chairman of the lobby, received several formal complaints.
"To say we are pissed off is the understatement of the year," says a BBC source. "It's a clear breach of the rules."
Meanwhile, my man at PA said: "Adam knew exactly what he was doing; at the very least, he deserves to be suspended from the lobby."
Assinder has issued a memo about the incident, and disciplinary action may follow.
Boulton, meanwhile, says: "I honestly didn't know I was breaking the rules. Because of the way this government operates, they have been relaxed in recent years."