Queen cancels holiday in face of G8 protests

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The Queen has cancelled her annual July holiday in Scotland because of the protest marches planned for the G8 summit. She decided to scrap her stay at Holyroodhouse after Sir Bob Geldof called for a million people to descend on Edinburgh.

Anarchists who caused chaos at previous G8 gatherings are already planning to come to Scotland and disrupt the summit, but a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman stressed that police were confident they could ensure the Queen's safety. Nevertheless, the spokeswoman admitted it would have caused problems.

Sir Bob refused to comment on the Queen's change of plans, but he appealed to the public not to let him down in his fight to help poverty-stricken Africa. Speaking at the Hay Festival, where he received a standing ovation, he said: "Numbers make things political." He said men like Martin Luther King had changed history with one million people and said he was not talking in metaphor.

Earlier, the singer defended his decision to exclude African musicians from the the Live8 concerts. Andy Kershaw, frontman for the BBC's coverage of the Live Aid concert 20 years ago and a Radio 3 presenter, called the "striking absence" of African acts "a disgrace".

Sir Bob told The Independent on Sunday he had to concentrate on names known in G8 countries to pile on political pressure.