British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled a planned trip to India later this month, citing the need to oversee the pandemic response at home.
"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," a Downing Street spokeswoman said, reports Reuters.
"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."
Earlier it was repoprted that Johnson will travel to India in January, his first bilateral visit since taking office, to try to strengthen trade and investment ties and work together on tackling climate change.
Since leaving the European Union in January, Johnson wanted to promote what he calls "global Britain", hoping to boost ties with countries further afield and attracting new foreign investment to a country badly hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic.