Foreign Press Association

The FPA was founded in 1888 and is the only association of its kind in the UK.

Politically non-aligned, the FPA is one of the oldest clubs for foreign correspondents in the world. The FPA is a member of the UK Press Card Authority and provides accreditation to more than 1500 journalists every year, representing all media from news agencies to print, broadcast and internet.

Its briefing programme covers a wide range of topics and issues. We organise regular briefings by Ministers and Government officials, as well as press conferences with prominent guests and representatives from the private sector, think-tanks, culture and sport. We facilitate access to the Houses of Parliament and political party conferences.

The Association liaises with foreign Embassies and a host of businesses and arts organizations across the UK. We arrange visits to places of interest as well as tickets to state and royal events.

www.foreign-press.org.uk

Access to the UK Parliament for Overseas Journalists

The Foreign Press Association has long been responsible for facilitating access for overseas journalists to the Press Gallery at the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

A limited number of permanent passes are available for those based in the UK on a long-term basis and who may wish to make regular use of access to Parliament. Such passes are designed for frequent attendees and those journalists required by their outlet to cover the UK Parliament and political scene on a regular basis.

Passes are issued by the Parliamentary authorities and not by the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Details of how to apply and the procedures involved can be obtained from the FPA office.

For those requiring occasional access – for example, to watch Prime Minister’s Questions or a specific debate – the following procedure should be observed.

Requests for tickets on specific dates should be e-mailed as soon as possible, but in any event not less than a day in advance, to the Director of the FPA christopherwyld@fpalondon.org and copied to Jerry Lewis, a long-time member of the FPA and Westminster based correspondent at attnjerrylewis@aol.com. In exceptional circumstances a ticket may be arranged on the day concerned but please note that this cannot be guaranteed.

When requesting tickets for a specific date please give your

  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Position
  • Address and phone numbers (including your mobile number) and email address.

As required by the House of Commons security regulations, visitors to Parliament must be accompanied by a pass holder and therefore you will not be able to reach the Commons Press Gallery unaccompanied. If a ticket is organised for you, you will be met and escorted to a seat in the Reporters Gallery either by Christopher Wyld or Jerry Lewis. Giving prior notice – the earlier the better – is especially important for those seeking a ticket for Prime Minister’s Questions (Wednesdays between 12.00 – 12.30).

Please note that the above arrangements apply only to the House of Commons Chamber or to Westminster Hall, where some less controversial debates are held regularly. Anyone seeking to attend a session of a House of Commons Select Committee or other meetings in Parliament need not make an application as described. However, FPA members should be aware that there are very limited spaces available for journalists in the committee rooms and particularly for high profile meetings, Parliamentary pass holders will inevitably take up all available seats.

Separate arrangements are applicable for access to the House of Lords. FPA members should ask the FPA office for details.

  • Should you have any queries concerning access to Parliament please contact Christopher Wyld, Director of the FPA, christopherwyld@fpalondon.org.
  • For questions about Parliament itself please contact the Parliamentary Information Helpline, tel. 020-7219-4272, email hcinfo@parliament.uk.
  • To arrange interviews with Members of Parliament please contact them direct via the Parliamentary switchboard, 020-7219-3000.