A UKIP MEP insists he has no intention of defecting after he failed to attend a party fundraiser in Horwich on Friday.

Steven Woolfe, who was elected to the European Parliament in May for the North West, was suppose to appear at the Bolton Whites Hotel alongside UKIP leader Nigel Farage to discuss the benefits to businesses for leaving the EU.

Fellow UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir was also due to attend — but defected to the Conservative party on Saturday, after it was understood he met with Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday.

He was suspended from the party amid allegations that he interfered with candidate selection and ‘unanswered financial and employment’ questions.

Mr Woolfe told The Bolton News he was disappointed he could not attend the fundraiser on Friday and share a platform with Mr Farage, but had spent 13 hours travelling back by car from Brussels to the UK.

He said: “I have absolutely no intention of defecting, and I will continue to drive forward the UKIP message particularly its policies towards immigration.

“I am deeply disappointed with Mr Bashir, for not honouring the responsibility in his pledge to UKIP members to represent them.

“I do hope that the allegations being placed against him are not true, as they would create a more difficult situation for him personally and the Conservative party.”

Mr Woolfe and Mr Bashir’s places on the panel were replaced by North West MEPs Paul Nuttall, the deputy leader of UKIP, and Louise Bours, the party’s spokesman for health.