A CONSERVATIVE election candidate running in Newport explained why she has been absent from the campaign trail.

Natasha Asghar was named as the party’s candidate for Newport East, widely cited as a target seat for the Tories, in the nominations released last week.

But she has not been seen campaigning in the city and was not present when foreign secretary Boris Johnson visited the city last week on a campaign visit.

But Ms Asghar said she had signed a contract to host a tour by Pakistani singer Atif Aslam, which began at the end of April and finished last weekend, before the election had been called.

“I had signed a contractual agreement,” she said. “Once you’ve signed an agreement you can’t back away from that.

“I will be in Newport throughout the duration of the campaign. As soon as the tour ended at the weekend I packed up and came here.”

Ms Asghar also ran against Labour’s Jessica Morden in 2015, and came second.