The PM informed Indian premier Narendra Modi in a phone call with “regret”. It came after Cabinet Minister Michael Gove revealed the Government is planning new curbs on international flights to reduce infections.
Mr Johnson’s visit to the growing eastern power was announced in December and billed as a move “to strengthen a key strategic relationship which supports jobs and investment across the UK”.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned.
“In light of the national lockdown announced last night, and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus.
“The leaders underlined their shared commitment to the bilateral relationship, and to continuing to build on the close collaboration between our countries – including in response to the pandemic.
“The Prime Minister said that he hopes to be able to visit India in the first half of 2021, and ahead of the UK’s G7 Summit that Prime Minister Modi is due to attend as a guest.”