THERE have been chaotic scenes at the Scottish Tory conference after No10 tried to bar large sections of the media from a Q&A with Rishi Sunak.

The Prime Minister had been due to hold an on-the-record “huddle” with press reporters after his speech to delegates at Glasgow’s SEC this morning.

However shortly before the event it emerged that only six hand-picked titles would be allowed to put questions to the PM, with all other outlets denied entry to the room.

The preferred newspapers were the Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Daily Express, The Scottish Sun, The Times, and the Press & Journal.

The PA news agency was also to have been allowed to participate.

The Herald, Scotsman, National, Daily Record, i newspaper and others were excluded.

It prompted a revolt by the assembled journalists, who demanded they at least be allowed to listen to the questions and answers involving the favoured few.

Ignoring media handlers, the reporters followed No10 staff through the SEC corridors to the allotted room, where one of Mr Sunak’s handlers gave up the fight.

“Okay, do you know what? Let them all in,” she said in exasperation.

With TV cameras also swarming into the room, there was then a stand-off between the media and No10 about who would be allowed to ask questions.

The broadcast reporters all wanted Mr Sunak’s reaction to the resignation of Tory donor Richard Sharp as chairman of the BBC over his failure to declare a financial relationship with Boris Johnson to his interview panel for the post.

No10 staff argued with broadcasters, saying it was inappropriate for them to be filmed.

After more than an hour of to-ing and fro-ing and frayed tempers, Mr Sunak finally did his Q&A with the original choice of questioners, but with other reporters in attendance.

One of his handlers joked reporters could now delete their tweets about restricting access.

The episode followed Scottish Tory chair Craig Hoy mocking SNP deputy leader Keith Brown for claiming the SNP was one of the UK's most transparent parties.

He told delegates: "Think about it: transparent? No auditors, 30,000 lost members, the missing money, that forensic tent and of course, who could miss the campervan?

"And on television, the evening news has morphed into Crimewatch,  broadcast live from Nicola Sturgeon's very own front garden. 

"But let's be clear, because this is serious, the SNP is the party of secrets and lies."

Asked about his plan to talk to a few hand-picked reporters descending into chaos, the Prime Minister said: “That is absolutely not my understanding of what's happened. 

“Just yesterday, I filmed quite an extensive interview with BBC Scotland, a part of which was also pooled and made available to other broadcasters. 

“And I've just done another pool clip earlier today, and I'm speaking to a half a dozen of you here, which was always the plan . 

“That's just completely wrong. Just just completely wrong. I was always due to speak to, I think about a half a dozen or so today, including PA as well. 

“And yesterday I filmed, as you all saw, a long interview with BBC Scotland, a chunk of which was also pooled to other broadcasters.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said: “As someone who has worked as both a journalist and an adviser in Downing Street, it’s clear to me this attempt was a move of abject cowardice from Number 10.  

“In his speech, Sunak talked about the SNP’s dire record of failures, but he should have followed through and added his own party’s A-Z of chaos.  

“Both the Tories and the SNP have absolutely no clue of what’s good for Scotland. It’s time we were rid of this dreary and divisive politics because it’s holding us all back.”

In a statement, the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists Association, which represents the Holyrood media lobby, said: “Journalists expect to be able to hold the Prime Minister to account when he is in Scotland as a vital part of the democratic process.

“Today’s actions to restrict access are unprecedented and undermine that important principle.”