But just hours before he was set to take to the stage, No 10 Downing Street officials said he wasn’t attending due to other commitments.
Around an hour later, he was pictured in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It’s understood that he travelled to the country that morning.
The PM in his visit offered up a major training programme for Ukrainian forces to help sustain the defence from Russian aggressors.
The UK would spearhead the programme, with the potential to train thousands of new and existing Ukrainian soldiers.
The NRG conference was kicked off by Doncaster’s Don Valley Conservative MP Nick Fletcher and the event heard from several high profile Tory MPs across the north of England.
One Conservative MP at the event told Sky News that they were informed Mr Johnson was on the train up to Doncaster from London and was ‘utterly furious’ with the turn of events.
But Tory Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchan on Twitter, said: “To all the rubbish being spouted on twitter at the moment, Ukraine’s fight against Russia is absolutely more important than the PM attending a conference of Red Wall Tory politicians.”
Event host Graham Robb, former chair of the NE Institute of Directors, told the event: “We were expecting the Prime Minister. However it has just been confirmed within the last two minutes that he is in Kyiv and making a second visit.
“We understand that when you are dealing with a world statesman’s diary, these kinds of events come first.”
Mr Fletcher, who made a speech and sat on a panel during a discussion on education, said: “It was a real honour to open up proceedings with a welcome to Doncaster speech.
“We’ve had some fantastic panellists, it was really great fun to be on the education panel and we learnt an awful lot from the audience too.”