Press regulation: Fury at ban journalists call

Labour backbencher Jim Sheridan was facing a backlash last night after suggesting that journalists who mocked MPs should be banned from parliament.

The comment came as the culture, media and sport committee took evidence from the Hacked Off pressure group on proposals for regulating the press.

In a swipe at Commons sketchwriters, Mr Sheridan said: “I don’t understand why they are allowed to come into this place and behave in the way that they do.”

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The remark drew condemnation from the media, many of whom said access to Westminster was essential to ensure MPs were properly scrutinised. Others pointed out Mr Sheridan had been criticised during the expenses scandal for claiming a 42in TV and “ivory leather bed”.

The Parliamentary Press Gallery and Lobby said that they were “dismayed”.