Mr Johnson was due to attend the inaugural gathering of the Northern Research Group, made up of MPs whose seats the Conservatives won from Labour at the 2019 election. However, he pulled out just hours before he was supposed to give a keynote address and later announced that he had travelled to Kyiv to meet Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President.
One senior member of the Northern Research Group told Telegraph its MPs had backed him in the confidence vote, but he has now “burnt through colleagues’ goodwill” with the no-show.
They said: “He is clearly scared of voters, and holds his colleagues, and the North of England in contempt.”
MPs attending the conference at Doncaster Racecourse were told as they arrived on Friday morning that Mr Johnson was on the train.
One branded his decision to swerve the event a “snub” while another said it showed “how little Boris cares about his colleagues”.
It is claimed that his appearance at the event had been pencilled in at least a week ago.
The Prime Minister’s allies defended his decision to head to Kyiv and suggested that his critics were overreacting.
Simon Clarke, the MP for Middlesbrough East and South Cleveland, said: “I think people seriously need to check their priorities.”
Ben Houchen, the Tory mayor for Tees Valley, added: “Ukraine’s fight against Russia is absolutely more important than the PM attending a conference of Red Wall Tory politicians.”
READ MORE: Boris confronted by huge number of Tory MPs as they make three demands