Jagger snubs Davos over 'political football' row
Malcolm Curtis · 25 Jan 2012, 10:41
Published: 25 Jan 2012 10:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2012 10:41 GMT+01:00
Jagger, 68, was set to appear with other Brits, such as model Lily Cole and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web, at a tea party organized for the WEF at the posh Graubünden ski resort.
But the lead singer of the Rolling Stones had second thoughts about participating in the event, hosted by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron as a showcase for Britain at the elite gathering of government and business leaders.
Jagger, who rarely involves himself in such events, said he was concerned about being used as a “political football”.
''During my career I have always eschewed party politics and came to Davos as a guest, as I thought it would be stimulating,” he said in a statement.
''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.”
Jagger added that “I think it’s best I decline the invitation to the key event and curtail my visit.”
The knighted musician flew into Zurich on Tuesday morning and was scheduled to leave Switzerland on Wednesday.
The withdrawal came as a disappointment to WEF organizers and the British government, run by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats, with Cameron at the helm.
The tea party was designed to promote British talent as well as this year’s Summer Olympic Games in London and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
But Jagger’s planned appearance led to headlines in British newspapers, such as “Sympathy for the Dave-il”, that suggested he was a Conservative party sympathizer.
Prime Minister Cameron’s office had earlier welcomed the star’s involvement in the event.
But Downing Street denied that he was being used for political purposes.
"Clearly we are disappointed that Sir Mick doesn't feel he can support a non-political event that promotes Britain," a source from the prime minister’s office told The Guardian newspaper.
"At no point was there ever any suggestion that Sir Mick was a Conservative . . .This is simply an event that promotes British creativity abroad."