The star is reported to have said he'd preferred if the current US President has died rather than Ronald Reagan...

Morrissey is at the centre of controversy after allegedly wishing the death of US President GEORGE W BUSH..

According to the Manchester Evening News newspaper, the star announced from the stage at Dublin Castle in Ireland the news that Ronald Reagan had died. After the announcement he reportedly said he’d rather it had been George W Bush.

A spokesman said: “We do not have a recording of the gig, but as far as we can tell, Morrissey was just alerting the audience to the fact that Ronald Reagan had died. He then simply followed that up with his comment about George Bush, which was his own opinion. He is no stranger to controversy.”

Morrissey releases his new single ’First Of The Gang To Die’ on July 12, backed by three new B-sides, ‘My Life Is An Endless Succession Of People Saying Goodbye’, ‘Teenage Dad On His Estate’ and ‘Mexico’.

Morrissey has confirmed a number of festival appearances this summer, and his Meltdown-curated event starts later this week at the London Royal Festival Hall.

This year’s full Meltdown line-up is:

Morrissey (Royal Festival Hall, June 11)

Sparks (Royal Festival Hall, 12)

Loudon Wainwright III (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 15)

The Films Of Bob Gruen (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 16)

An Audience With Alan Bennett (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 17)

Ennio Marchetto (Purcell Room, 17)

New York Dolls (Royal Festival Hall, 16, 18)

Ennio Marchetto (Purcell Room, 18)

Jane Birkin / Ari Up (Royal Festival Hall, 19)

Ennio Marchetto (Purcell Room, 19)

Nancy Sinatra (Royal Festival Hall, 20)

Lypsinka! The Boxed Set (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 23-24)

An acoustic evening with Gene (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 25)

Morrissey (Royal Festival Hall, 25-26)

Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 (Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs) featuring Yvonne Kenny (Royal Festival Hall, 27)

For tickets contact the Meltdown festival on 08703 808 300 or click [url=]here.