Downing Street has apologised after failing to invite the local media to attend the prime minister's recent visit to Aylesbury.

Boris Johnson paid a trip to the Guttman Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium - an 11-minute drive from his country retreat Chequers - on Monday, where he posed for photographs with staff from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and spoke to volunteers.

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The only media present was a small film crew and a pool reporter from The Press Association, the Bucks Free Press understands.

Both The Free Press and the Bucks Herald were not invited to the visit. This newspaper became aware of the visit at around 5.30pm on Monday, January 3, several hours later.

During the visit, Mr Johnson promoted the push for vaccinations and spoke of the importance of the public receiving their booster jabs.

The Free Press's editor, Katie French, said: "It is vital that members of the local media are invited to cover these types of events. Such occasions are important opportunities for regional newspapers to put the questions of our readers directly to those in charge of running the country.

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"It is regrettable that on this occasion we, along with other local outlets, were not included. I hope this is not a trend towards excluding the local press permanently as this would raise serious questions about whether the regional press is treated on par with our national counterparts.

"It would be fantastic to see Mr. Johnson back in Buckinghamshire soon where our reporters would be grateful for his time for an interview."

A Downing Street spokesman apologised to The Bucks Free Press.

Number 10 said it had ‘checked with colleagues who attended this morning [January 3]' and said it was a 'short visit'. The spokesman said: "Unfortunately on this occasion, it was only possible to facilitate a very tight broadcast crew for a short, pooled clip."

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It is not the first time Mr Johnson has visited the county. He visited a school in Beaconsfield, while touring the country ahead of the 2019 General Election.

As prime minister, Mr Johnson is custodian of country retreat Chequers, a 16th Century manor house based in the village of Ellesborough, halfway between Princes Risborough and Wendover.

The stately home is a short journey away from Stoke Mandeville Stadium.