Journalists could face ban

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THE COMMONS riverside terrace could be off-limits to journalists unless invited by MPs under an unprecedented move being urged on Betty Boothroyd, the Speaker.

The accommodation and catering committees have secured the backing of party whips, the Tory 1922 committee and some Labour MPs for the virtual banning of reporters from the terrace, its bar and pavilion restaurant.

The MPs' action can be traced to last year's troubled passage of the Maastricht Bill, when a drawing in one newspaper showing Tory rebels conspiring together.