THE Hendon Conservative Party chairman said it is “unfortunate” MP Matthew Offord missed the opportunity to reassure the community over the riots but backed his judgement.

Mr Offord was on a diving holiday in Belize when Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday criticised the police response to the violence and looting unleashed in London.

He was given permission by Tory whips not to cancel the trip due to the cost and time needed to take several flights home but has also decided to remain abroad until next Saturday, August 20, when he was always due to return.

Councillor Hugh Rayner, chairman of the Hendon Conservative Party Association, said: “Unfortunately he’s missed the opportunity to go around and say ‘hello’ and give reassurances, which he would have liked to do.

“That’s unfortunate because it would have been a good opportunity.”

Asked whether he backed Matthew Offord's decision not to cut the trip short, he said: “I haven’t got the full facts to make the judgement myself.

"He’s fully appraised of the fact and he’s made a judgement call. I’m fully supportive of Matthew Offord’s judgements.”

He backed Mr Offord’s decision not to fly back for the Commons debate saying: “It was not financially viable on the one hand and not practicable on the other.

“If you are told on the Tuesday you have to get back from Belize for a meeting on the Thursday that would have been inpracticable.”

Mr Offord flew out on Saturday morning and arrived in Belize, in South America, on Sunday.

He has released a statement which reads: “I completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and in our communities.

“The violence and looting is not only shocking but also confusing as it has nothing to do with the shooting in Tottenham.

“We can only speculate on the motivations of the people who are engaging in this criminal behaviour but one thing is for sure and that is that it is unacceptable.

"I fully understand the concerns of my constituents about safety in our area.”