Jagger backs out of PM tea party
Sir Mick Jagger has backed out of an event to promote Britain at the Davos summit after complaining of being used as a "political football".
The Rolling Stones frontman had been due to join the likes of model Lily Cole and the inventor of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee at a tea party in the Swiss resort. It is being hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron as part of the UK's involvement in the annual elite gathering of government and business leaders at the ski resort.
But in a statement, Sir Mick said: "During my career I have always eschewed party politics and came to Davos as a guest, as I thought it would be stimulating.
"I have always been interested in economics and world events.
"I now find myself being used as a political football and there has been a lot of comment about my political allegiances which are inaccurate.
"I think it's best I decline the invitation to the key event and curtail my visit."
The withdrawal is embarrassing for the Government. Earlier, Downing Street had welcomed Sir Mick's involvement amid efforts to plug Britain in a year that will see the Olympics in London and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Last night, a senior government source denied that Sir Mick's involvement in the tea party - part of a wider "Great" campaign to encourage investors and tourists - had been politicised. "Clearly we are disappointed that Sir Mick doesn't feel he can support a non-political event that promotes Britain," the source said.
"At no point was there ever any suggestion that Sir Mick was a Conservative.
"He understandably wishes to remain apolitical. This is not a political event. This is simply an event that promotes British creativity abroad."