Lord Ashcroft missed the book launch of his scathing biography of David Cameron having suffered life-threatening illnesses which left him seriously ill in intensive care for almost three weeks.

The peer suffered from renal failure, septic shock, liver and kidney failure on 24 September, according to his publisher Iain Dale who gave his speech in his place.

The former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party spent 18 days in intensive care although is said to be on the mend and recovering in Belize where he is a citizen.

Guests at the official unveiling of Call Me Dave, which the peer co-wrote with political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, were said to be stunned by the news. Raheem Kassam, Breitbart London editor-in-chief, said Lord Ashcroft had been treated in a US hospital.

Organisers of the Westminster book launch said the peer had suffered a “life-threatening” illness but is now “out of danger”.

The Independent