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 legend 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, hosted by prime minister David Cameron as part of the UK's involvement in the annual elite gathering of government and business leaders.
But in a statement on Tuesday to the Press Association, 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, a Downing Street source 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.
Boris Johnson is also attending the event at the high-profile five-day summit.
A spokeswoman for the London Mayor said: "The British delegation at Davos decided having a cup of tea and a biscuit mid-afternoon was the most frugal and efficient way of getting access to the global financial elite and to tell them about investment opportunities in the UK, not least in this Olympic year.
"The mayor was asked if his name could be put on the invitation in order to attract the best crowd and be there to bang the drum for London."Suggest a correction