Two Freemasons lodges set up for political journalists in Westminster were today revealed by the Guardian to still be operating in secret.
The Gallery and Alfred Robbins Lodge are both composed of political journalists, with 45 and 11 members respectively, and meet four times a year at the Freemasons hall in Covent Garden, the paper said.
The identities of the members, made up of journalists based at Westminster in the political corps known as the lobby, are not known.
A spokesperson for the United Grand Lodge of England told the Guardian: “None of the members who have joined either of these two lodges since 2000 have their occupation recorded as journalist or anything obviously linked to the newspaper industry.”
A third lodge, the New Welcome that’s features MP’s, peers and parliamentary staff among its members was also uncovered.
A member said that it keeps a “arm’s length” from the two journalist lodges, as they “wouldn’t want journalists listening to their conversations”.
Several political journalists took to Twitter to poke fun at the Guardian story.
Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn: “If Guardian journalists know so much about a Lobby Freemasons’ lodge, perhaps they have a confession to make. First I’ve ever heard of it in ten years in Westminster.”
Telegraph political correspondent Christopher Hope added “For the three of you who have asked me this morning, I am not a Freemason”.
Politics UK editor Ian Dunt said of the revelations “this is so gross”.