Question marks have been raised about the commitment of the Conservative candidate for Huddersfield at the General Election.
Scott Benton, a Calderdale councillor, failed to turn up to hustings in Huddersfield on Wednesday night.
It is the second debate against his fellow candidates that he has missed.
Clr Benton, who works for Calder Valley Tory candidate, Craig Whittaker , told the Examiner he had made it clear to the organisers at New North Road Baptist Church that he could not attend.
But members of the audience were told he had a prior charity engagement and would hopefully be arriving about 45 minutes late.
Clr Benton, who rang the Examiner from Mr Whittaker’s constituency office, said the compere and organiser, Rev Wayne Clark, was mistaken as he had sent an email declining the invitation.
Clr Benton has provided the Examiner with the email dated May 11 but Rev Clark says he had telephone conversations with Clr Benton in the days running up to Last Wednesday's event indicating he would make the effort to come following the conclusion of his event in Brighouse at 8pm.
Clr Benton said the other event he missed at Huddersfield Media Centre was only proposed to him at short notice and his diary was already booked up.
Following his non-arrival at New North Road many of the other candidates attacked his unwillingness to show his face, which ironically occurred at the same time as Conservative Party leader Theresa May refused to take part in a debate on the BBC.
After the event was over, Clr Cooper, took to Twitter to challenge his rival’s commitment to the democratic process.
In a tweet referencing other Twitter posts that questioned Clr Benton’s claims to be campaigning in Huddersfield, Clr Cooper wrote: “Is Huddersfield Tory Candidate Scott Benton pretending to be in Huddersfield when in fact he’s spending his time in Calder Valley?”
It comes after Clr Benton posted on Twitter: “Another great day on the campaign trail across Huddersfield...” but the post included no picture evidence of his efforts.
People responding to the tweet cast doubt on his claim.
Rob Holden, an independent candidate for Calder Valley, replied: “Unless you’ve invented time travel you were in Ripponden yesterday leafleting with [sic] cllr blagbrough.”.
Another put: “Strange that is not what I’m hearing in Huddersfield.”
A third said: “Disappointed you didn’t make the hustings in Huddersfield. Many issues raised on care, education, asylum etc but no Tory response!”
While the majority of candidates have posted photos of their door knocking efforts on the streets around town, Clr Benton has only done so on Mr Whittaker’s campaign trail in Elland, Rastrick and Fixby.
Clr Benton told the Examiner he was not a “big believer in social media”, adding it was “not the case” that he was not campaigning.
“I’ve been in Huddersfield very regularly campaigning,” he said. “My personal preference is not to put things on social media.
“I prefer more traditional methods and we’ve knocked on 2,500 doors in the last week alone.”
He added: “I’m quietly confident of a good performance on June 8.”
At the hustings on Wednesday evening, the remaining candidates, Zulifiqar Ali of the Liberal Democrats, Bikatshi Katenga of the Yorkshire Party and Marteen Suneel Reddy Thokkudubiyyapu – an Independent, were all present.
They were asked questions including; how they would improve Huddersfield now the football club is in the Premier League , their views on asylum seekers, what should be done about school funding, how to solve the social care crisis and the NHS and what they thought about the state of politics.