Media accreditation applications have just opened for Tory conference in October, with the application fee now at £137 per hack just to attend. Last year it was £125, the year before that it was completely free. £137 to drink warm wine and sing karaoke with Thérèse Coffey…
In protest, lobbyists for the big media groups are trying to organise a Press Gallery boycott, having already contacted the editors of large organisations to persuade their hacks against applying for passes. A round robin message within the Lobby was sent out over WhatsApp yesterday:
“Afternoon all – as I mentioned in the main Press Gallery group, the big media lobbying orgs are pushing the Conservatives to remove the application fee for conference passes this year. I’m told they have been in touch with most editors and/or managing editors of large outlets already; but they wished me to convey that it would be helpful to their cause if correspondents could hold off applying for passes for the time being, so that the Tories cannot begin to present the process as a fait accompli.
The first application deadline is not until the end of July so there is little time pressure at this point. It would also be helpful if we could keep the above request between ourselves for now. Thank you”
The Guido team are going to hold off on their applications and see what happens. Guido is not sure how this will play out, given it is a case of a movable object meeting a resistible force….