David Cameron turns down Winter Olympics invitation

Cameron turns down Winter Olympics invitation
© Getty Images
British prime minister David Cameron confirms that he will not be attending the 2014 Winter Olympics.

British prime minister David Cameron has turned down an invitation to the 2014 Winter Olympics from Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The Conservative leader insists his decision to avoid the Sochi event is not a snub to Russia, claiming that it is "not tradition" for a British ruler to attend the Winter Games.

"We are confirming that the prime minister is not attending, and that reflects that it is not usual for the prime minister to attend. However, the prime minister will be in Sochi later this year for the G8," the London Evening Standard quotes a government spokesperson as saying.

Putin's government has been criticised over its stance on gay rights after passing controversial legislation outlawing homosexual "propaganda", sparking fears that gay athletes and spectators could be discriminated against.

Former Olympic equestrian competitor Princess Anne, Lord Coe and culture secretary Maria Miller will lead the British delegation in Sochi next month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with upcoming Olympic games' volunteers in Sochi on January 17, 2014
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