JOURNALISTS have been barred from attending a secretive lobbying event due to take place alongside the Scottish Labour party conference this weekend. 

The Scottish Labour Business Forum at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow will see business leaders mingle with frontbench Labour politicians while the conference takes place just around the corner at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

However, while journalists were permitted to attend UK Labour’s business conference in London, they have been barred from attending the forum in Glasgow.

A party spokesperson told openDemocracy that “there will be no press accreditation for the our Business Forum event” and refused to provide a list of attendees or details about the agenda.

READ MORE: 'Recession shows Scotland must free itself from Treasury shackles'

A day pass to the event is priced at £550 and promises to “facilitate the highest quality engagement between Labour politicians and the business community”.

The official partner of the event is lobbying firm Arden Strategies, which is run by former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.

Two prospective Labour MPs are also employed by Arden.

Meanwhile, energy firms and industry bodies dominate the event’s sponsors, with Offshore Energies UK putting its name to the ceilidh, gas company SGN sponsoring the welcome reception, and SSE sponsoring the “exhibitor lounge”.

The National: Former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy's lobbying firm are official partners of the eventFormer Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy's lobbying firm are official partners of the event

The event will also feature contributions from shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray, Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, and a panel on energy policy with Ed Miliband.

Tom Brake, director of standards at campaign group Unlock Democracy, told openDemocracy:

"Good habits are formed in youth. Some of these MPs could be ministers in the next government. They could set an early good example, get ahead of the game, and publish details of whom they are meeting and why, just as they will need to do in Government.

“This will reassure the public that they are listening to all sides of the argument and won't be influenced only by business interests."

It sparks further concerns about the party’s courting of big business after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves refused to commit to reinstating the cap on bankers’ bonuses.