British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images], the BBC has reported, quoting Downing Street.
A spokesperson said specifically said Brown was not boycotting Olympics, saying he had never planned to attend the ceremony. But it is said that he would attend the closing ceremony, where the Olympic baton will be passed to London [Images], the BBC said.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is quoted as saying, "Mr Brown seems to do the right thing late in the day when he is forced to do so because of public opinion."
Clegg, speaking to Channel Four News, termed the move a "last-minute U-turn".
Brown, who has been under pressure to boycott the Olympics over China's human rights record, never specifically said he would attend the opening ceremony, the BBC said.