David Cameron to Skip Sochi Olympics, Says It Isn’t a Boycott

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has no plans to attend the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, but government sources insist that his absence should not be interpreted as a statement about Russia's anti-gay record. The Independent reports:

David CameronGovernment sources told The Independent that culture ministers would be part of the British delegation to Sochi, although the final line-up had not been decided. It is also unlikely that Britain will follow President Obama’s lead and send a high-profile gay rights activist as part of the official presence.

“The PM believes in engagement. He doesn’t think that boycotts and grand gestures achieve much,” an aide said. 

Downing Street sources pointed to Mr Cameron’s decision to attend the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka in November, even though the Canadian and Indian prime ministers stayed away, and pointed out that Mr Cameron raised the issue of gay rights with President Putin when he attended the G20 summit in St Petersburg in September.

In other UK news, Peter Tatchell and other gay rights activists ambushed Coca-Cola's Christmas event in Covent Gardens, London yesterday to protest against the company's sponsorship of the Sochi Games.

Peter Tatchell


  1. Robert says

    That would be Covent Garden, not Coven Gardens. Glad they’re protesting and putting pressure on the sponsors.

  2. Damien says

    Thanks to Peter Tatchell and the other gay rights activists for giving us something to smile about :-)

  3. Damien says

    Refresh my memory, please. Are the Winter Olympics that jingoistic money-fest that Mitt Romney claimed made him qualified to be President of the United States of America?

  4. simon says

    In other UK news, The queen (the real one) has just pardoned Alan Turing.
    In queen’s language, it is like this:
    “Now know ye that we, in consideration of circumstances humbly represented to us, are graciously pleased to grant our grace and mercy unto the said Alan Mathison Turing and grant him our free pardon posthumously in respect of the said convictions.”

  5. Robert says

    You attempted to correct it and still got it wrong: it’s Covent Garden (singular), not “Gardens.”

  6. Bill says

    @westy : he can just tell Putin that he’d have gone if Obama and some other heads of state were also going to be there, but without enough of them to hobnob with, it wasn’t worth the trip given all the issues he has to deal with at home.

    It’s not like he would be going just to watch the events when he can see those on the telly.