Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not be attending the opening ceremonies of China's Olympics in August, but a spokesperson said Wednesday he had never intended to go in the first place. ( dpa )
A Downing Street spokeswoman said however that Brown had always planned to attend the closing ceremony, long before the protests began against the Olympics torch bearers carrying the flame around the world, including in London and Paris.
San Francisco was bracing for protests against the public carrying of the torch at 2000 GMT Wednesday, sparked by China's crackdown on Tibet rights protesters over past weeks..
Brown would attend the closing ceremony when Britain accepts the Olympic torch from China ahead of the 2012 games in London, as was already announced in March, the spokeswoman said.
She said the move did not represent a boycott.
"Our reasons for going are exactly the came as they have always been. We still think it is the right thing to do. There is no change in our position," the spokeswoman said.