A NEIGHBOURHOOD watch leader has backed Matthew Offord’s decision not to cut short his holiday to reassure constituents over the riots.

The Hendon MP is on a diving trip in a remote location in Belize, South America, and will not be back in London until next Saturday, August 20.

He was given permission to miss the emergency meeting on the civil disorder in the House of Commons yesterday by party whips but took the decision to stay the full length of the holiday himself.

Maureen West, chairman of Barnet Borough Watch, said: “Really it wouldn’t have made any difference whether he was here or not.

“I was with all the police teams right across Edgware. The teams have pulled out all the stops. They’ve been absolutely amazing.

“I was down in Edgware myself as were several other people. There was a really good feeling from the community down there.”