Boris Johnson has pulled out of a northern Tory conference as the Wakefield by-election looms.
Mr Johnson was expected to speak at the Northern Research Group conference in Doncaster today, but the group have now been informed that the PM will not be in attendance.
No reason was given by No.10 for the PM’s no-show.
Prime Minister Boris JohnsonPeter Byrne
Imran Ahmad Khan resigned as Wakefield MP earlier this year following his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boyDominic Lipinski
The decision comes on the eve of the Wakefield by-election next week, a vote which follows the resignation of Imran Ahmad Khan following his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
Tory by-election candidate Nadeem Ahmed has said voters should trust the party after Mr Khan's conviction, just as they still trust GPs despite mass-murderer Harold Shipman.
Mr Ahmed said the West Yorkshire seat’s previous Tory MP, Mr Khan, was “one bad apple”.
Asked whether the Conservatives deserve to lose the by-election, Mr Ahmed said: “No they don’t because Mr Khan, for his offences, the right things happened to him, he’s in prison."
He was also filmed saying that what Mr Khan had done was “wrong” and “disgusting”.
“The people of Wakefield know that he was one bad apple,” he continued.
“As you know, Harold Shipman committed suicide in Wakefield prison. He was a GP, he was a trusted professional like teachers and others.
“When they put a vaccine in our arms, we trust what they are putting in us.
“Have we stopped trusting GPs? No, we still trust GPs and we know that he was one bad apple in there," he told The Telegraph.
He added that the people of Wakefield were “forgiving”.