Clegg urges PM: don't endorse these tainted Olympics

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The Independent Online

Gordon Brown has been urged by the leader of the Liberal Democrats to make a stand against Chinese human rights abuses by not attending the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister today, Nick Clegg calls the decision to award the Olympics to China a "mistake" and appeals to Mr Brown not to give the Games further political endorsement.

"China's recent behaviour is a humiliation for the International Olympic Committee," Mr Clegg writes. "Given their utter failure to deliver on their human rights promises, it is simply untenable for any representative of the United Kingdom to give political endorsement to these Games.

"I therefore urge you not to attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games, or indeed any other ceremonies associated with them."

Mr Brown announced earlier in the year that he would not be attending the opening ceremony. Instead the Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, will represent the UK on Friday.

The Prime Minister did, however, make it clear that he would be at the closing ceremony, where China will pass on the baton in preparation for the next Olympic Games, to be held in London in 2012.

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