Tom Watson was one of a number of Labour dignitaries due to attend Durham Big Meeting on Saturday July 9.
Related article: Lego mining banners to be created as part of Gala celebrationsA spokesman for the Durham Miners Association (DMA) said: "We have been informed by Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, that due to his father’s illness he regrets that he will not be able to attend this year’s Gala.
"Tom’s father, a lifelong socialist and UNISON activist, asked Tom to pass on his best wishes to all attending the Big Meeting particularly to Jeremy Corbyn who was, ‘very supportive of him whilst in hospital this year’.
"The DMA wishes to extend to Tom’s father its best wishes and hope he has a speedy recovery."
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The news comes after the DMA announced those who failed to support Jeremy Corbyn would not be welcome at the Gala.