It should be the season of goodwill to all men, but a Conservative MP has objected to a UKIP rival playing the keyboard at a charity carol concert - unless all the other party candidates are invited along.

The event in the Ashley Centre, Epsom on Saturday is all about raising money for the mayor's charities, Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, Citizens Advice Bureau and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

But when MP Chris Grayling found out his UKIP rival next May, Robert Leach, would be tinkling the ivories, he wrote to the organisers saying Labour and the Lib Dem candidates should also get invites.

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Robert Leach plays the grand piano at Bourne Hall in Ewell in 2009

In an email to the organisers, Mr Grayling suggested that alternatively: "If we need a keyboard player, I’m sure we can find an alternative."

An outraged Mr Leach said in an email: " I play the piano and organ and do many carol concerts. I played carols at the local junior school last night.

"Chris Grayling MP, Justice Secretary, has complained to the organiser about my presence as I am the UKIP candidate in the general election, even though I have no intention of wearing a rosette or of campaigning in any way.

"Grayling is insisting that either all the other candidates are invited (no problem for me) or they find another pianist.

"In 2006, I played the piano for carol-singing organised by Chris Grayling outside Epsom Hospital when he asked me to play and bought me a beer afterwards. Most bizarre!"

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MP Chris Grayling

Mr Leach told the Epsom Guardian: "I’m going to play because I’m a local person who plays the piano. I play the piano for all sorts of things. I have never used it for political purposes. It’s something quite separate.

"I’m disappointed that Chris Grayling is trying to politicise what is a charitable, seasonal fundraising event."

Mr Grayling, who was due to attend the event, today dismissed Mr Leach’s claims that he had complained to the organiser about his presence as "absolute nonsense" and "completely untrue".

"I have suggested that the other two parliamentary candidates are invited so all four of us are there together," he said. "We are coming up to a general election."

Asked if he had suggested the removal of Mr Leach, Mr Grayling denied it. He said: "I have not asked for Robert to be disinvited. I asked for the other parliamentary candidates to be invited."

Mr Grayling said "nothing has changed" since he and Mr Leach, then a Residents’ Association councillor, took part in carol singing in 2006.

He said: "We are three months away from a general election. They should all be invited. There is nothing unreasonable about that."

He denied claims that he was trying to politicise the carol singing, adding: "This is not a political event."

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Robert Leach

After UKIP received just 112 votes less than the Tories in Epsom in the May European elections, Mr Grayling remained bullish about retaining his seat in 2015.

He said: "As people locally know, I am a staunch Eurosceptic who wants an in/out referendum on our future in the EU.

"At the last election more than 30,000 people locally voted Conservative and I hope to have their support again next year."

Brian Angus, chairman of the Epsom Mayor's charities, said: "We will invite the other candidates. I’m keen to work through the politics to ensure we give the public an enjoyable event."

He added: "Robert has an excellent selection of appropriate music. I think he has played the keyboard at this event in previous years."

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Epsom's Ashley Centre - venue of the carol singing on Saturday

Mr Leach served as a Residents’ Association councillor on Epsom Council between 1999 and 2011 and he was chairman of the ruling RA group of councillors for 14 months during this period.

After standing down, Mr Leach said he was so concerned by the state of the country that he joined UKIP in November 2011 and was subsequently asked to be a candidate for the party.

In 2012, he stood as the UKIP candidate for the Tattenham, Walton and Kingswood division in the Surrey County Council (SCC) election.

A chartered accountant who lectures on tax, he has published 40 books and is also a musician who plays the organ at church and piano in a dance band, Forty-Second Street.

The carol singing will be take place from 10am on Saturday at the Ashley Centre, Epsom, in aid of the Mayor's charities.