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Cherie sings to Chinese students

Chinese students -- and the prime minister -- clapped along with Cherie.
Chinese students -- and the prime minister -- clapped along with Cherie.

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BEIJING, China -- The UK prime minister's wife, Cherie Blair, broke into song after a meeting with Chinese students in which her husband had been asked questions on Iraq and the apparent suicide of a government mole.

Cherie Blair sang a verse of the Beatles' classic "When I'm 64" at the prompting of her husband Tony at the end of a 45-minute question and answer session at Beijing's Tsinghua University during his Asian tour.

Earlier he had responded to grilling on events back home in the UK including the death of science expert David Kelly and the row between the government and the BBC. (Full Story)

The bitter controversy, sparked by BBC allegations that the government had "sexed-up" a September dossier on the intelligence case for war in Iraq, has resulted in an independent judicial inquiry being held into the events in the run-up to Kelly's death.

Cherie sang the first verse of the song after being asked by a student.

"I thought the atmosphere should be a little more warm," Peng Linlin 21, told Reuters.

The prime minister, who used to be lead singer in a student band called "Ugly Rumours" wasted little time in deflecting the request.

"Song?," Blair had said. "The Beatles? Where's my wife? Anyone who thinks this is scripted this morning, this is certainly not scripted."

Cherie joined her husband and said: "They want a Beatles song, people want us to sing, they want me to sing?"

The premier replied: "Yes."

Cherie said: "What do they want me to sing?"

A student shouted: "The Beatles."

Blair turned to his wife and said: "You can sing anything you like -- When I'm 64."

The song was greeted with warm applause. Reports did not say how good the rendition was.

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