The Conservative candidate in the upcoming Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election says he is allergic to doorsteps.
The revelation comes after reports that David Cameron is willing to let the Lib Dems win the seat on 13 January.
Kashif Ali said he hadn't been aware of his terror of doorsteps until told by Conservative Central Office. 'It seems that I break out into a sweat whenever I see a doorstep, so the party has decided I won't be knocking on any doors. When I was a kid I fell off quite a high doorstep, which could account for my present condition.
'But I'll still be fighting tooth-and-nail to win the by-election, although I won't be wearing a rosette.'
Conservative Central Office said Mr Ali had been excused from wearing a Conservative party rosette 'as it seems somewhat ostentatious in the Oldham mill town.'