Reporters and photographers wanting to attend Conservative Party events and speeches will have to provide its headquarters with personal details including their home address, passport and driving licence numbers, and a photograph in order to qualify.
Applications made after 5.30pm on Friday 27 March will also incur a £20 fee, and the information will be retained by the party after the election.
It is understood the accreditation will only be needed for pre-election events involving high-profile party members, such as Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured left, rather than local MPs and candidates ordinarily covered by regional newspapers.
The Conservatives say the system is currently employed for their party conferences, and that similar media accreditation schemes have been run during previous election campaigns.
But the move has been publicly criticised by the Milton Keynes Citizen, which received a memo on the policy earlier this week.
Deputy editor Ben Raza told HTFP: “I don’t understand why the Conservative Party needs to have local reporters across the country hand over their personal details.
“It’s an utter Big Brother-style policy and there’s no real explanation offered as to why it’s necessary.
“David Cameron is a man who can’t be even be trusted to bring his own kids home from the pub so I don’t trust him to look after my details.”
Earlier this week Ashley Highfield, chief executive of the Citizen’s owner Johnston Press, warned politicians who “underestimate” the press could face “disastrous consequences” during an appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.
A Tory Party spokesman told HTFP: “As with previous elections we have a media accreditation system for the campaign given the larger interest from local, national and international media.”
In a statement to the Citizen, he added: “This is the system we use for all party conferences, it’s the same system as that. The information will only be used for that, and if reporters want to attend other events in the future.”