LONDON (Reuters) - Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger has decided British Prime Minister David Cameron can’t get what he wants after all.
Britain’s Sun tabloid reported Tuesday that Jagger would be the star attraction at an event organized by Cameron’s office to promote Britain at a gathering of the world’s rich and powerful in Davos this week.
But after news of his appearance leaked out, Jagger, who received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 2003, revealed he had had second thoughts.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Some Rolling Stones fans might have been surprised to see the singer, the former rock‘n‘roll rebel with a drugs conviction in 1967, appearing alongside a prime minister from the Conservative Party - a bastion of traditionalists.
Others might have thought it suited the leader of a band that for the past few decades has been a slick, multi-million dollar enterprise run along corporate lines.
Downing Street had earlier confirmed that Sir Mick, as he has been known since he was knighted, would be appearing at the Great British Tea Party event and Cameron’s office was said by the Sun to be “tickled pink” with the publicity coup.
His appearance with Cameron would also have been a blow to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a life-long Jagger fan who led the Labor Party to three electoral victories over the Conservatives.
The guitar-playing Blair, who dreamed of being a rock star before turning to politics, told Jagger at a dinner in the 1990s that “I just want to say how much you’ve always meant to me.”
It was Blair who recommended the singer for his knighthood.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Michael Holden; editing by Paul Casciato and Angus MacSwan