Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman Quentin Davies last night branded reports that he had pulled out of a plan to live with families along Belfast interfaces as "utter nonsense".
Speaking last night from the loyalist Glenbryn area of north Belfast, Mr Davies told the Irish News that after taking security advice he had decided it was too dangerous to spend the night in family homes. Instead, he is sleeping in a Belfast hotel.
"I'm not sleeping overnight at their houses because a security report I received on Friday night indicated that by doing so I could be endangering them, either during my visit or by making them targets afterwards," said Mr Davies.
"I couldn't forgive myself if anything happened to them or if I did something that caused them danger. I have no reason to fear for my own safety." But Mr Davies insisted he would be following his planned programme "in full". "The only difference will be that I am not staying at the homes of families," he said.
Speaking after his first day "living life" in the loyalist district, Mr Davies said he had had a "dramatic illustration of life up against the wall".
"The problems created on both sides come from those who come in from away from the wall and then return to the safety. It is very clear from what I've seen and what has been said to me that it is the same for people on the other side," he said.
"It has been so different being in the houses and meeting people in a relaxed kind of way. It makes all the difference to have normal conversations.
"I'm confident it will be a valuable learning experience."
Mr Davies announced last week he would be spending six days living with families in Belfast "to get a feeling of how life is lived" in interface areas.
He will spend two more days with a loyalist family and three days with a republican family in west Belfast this week.
"I want to see what life is like in these areas for myself and learn what people are thinking," he said.
Mr Davies has been to the Ardoyne area before when he accompanied parents and children to Holy Cross Primary School during last year's dispute.