London, May 21: A row has cropped up over the 11-day visit of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, with critics accusing the Gordon Brown Government of deliberately downgrading his visit by having the meeting at Lambeth Palace instead of the official 10, Downing Street. Lambeth Palace is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and there is a view that Prime Minister Brown has been pressured by China not to give official status to the visit by the Dalai Lama, the Telegraph reported. This is the Dalai Lama's third visit to the United Kingdom in a little over a decade.
The country's two previous Prime Ministers -- Tony Blair and John Major had met the Dalai Lama at 10, Downing Street. Brown has defended his decision to not hold the meeting at Number 10, saying it was not about where they met, but about which issues regarding Tibet they discussed. This afternoon the Dalai Lama will receive an honorary degree from London Metropolitan University. Later during his trip the Dalai Lama, who has been publicising the plight of the Tibetans for 50 years, will take part in a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.