TOP Labour figures from both the UK and Scottish groups gave a donor an “exclusive” look at their unreleased financial services policy after accepting a £150,000 donation, it has emerged.

Party leader Keir Starmer, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, and Scottish group leader Anas Sarwar were all in attendance at the meeting with the Bloomberg Group and lobbyists Sovereign Strategy in Edinburgh on December 8 last year.

The event has sparked “cash for access” concerns after first being reported by the news site openDemocracy.

The private roundtable was held just ten days after Labour accepted a £150,000 donation from Bloomberg Trading Facility Limited, a subsidiary firm ultimately controlled by US billionaire and politician Michael Bloomberg.

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In a now-deleted post on LinkedIn, one staffer said the firms present at the meeting had been given “an exclusive dive into Labour’s launch of the financial services review”.

Labour’s plans for the financial sector were published the following month.

In a video posted to LinkedIn by Starmer which showed the Edinburgh meeting, he could be heard to say: “What you now see is a Labour party that is fundamentally different to the Labour party that fought the last General Election. Unrecognisably different. And very obviously pro-business.”

Labour declined to comment on whether the executives at the meeting were given advance sight of the party’s plans, telling openDemocracy: “It is standard practice for the Labour Party to meet with the private sector.”

That website reported Labour sources as calling the meeting “suspicious” and “highly unusual” due to the sheer number of high-ranking party politicians in attendance.

As well as Starmer, Reeves, and Sarwar, shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds and Scottish Labour economy spokesperson Daniel Johnson were both also present.

Simon Youel, the head of policy at campaign group Positive Money, told openDemocracy that the meeting raised "serious concerns around cash for access in our democracy".

“What is most concerning is that weeks after this meeting, Labour published a plan for financial services that reads like a love letter to Big Finance, with much in there that could have been written by the industry itself,” he added.

A Bloomberg spokesperson said: “Bloomberg entities have a long history of donating to both of the UK’s main political parties. As Electoral Commission records show, we have a track record of relative parity of support across both Labour and the Conservatives over multiple years.

“This event formed part of a regular series of engagements between businesses and UK policymakers.”