Former guitarist issues statement about Ian Hill\'s claims last week
Following Hill's claims that he may have quit Judas Priest to concentrate on his golf course in Shropshire, Downing has issued a statement denying the story.
"I love Ian as a brother and nothing will ever change that, but his take on the situation in this instance is inaccurate, and the people from the press had no licence to jump in and take what they thought was a cheap scoop out of what Ian thought the situation was.
"To concentrate on my golf course is not, and was never, the reason for not doing the latest tour with Judas Priest. I have had in place since last September the world's leading golf-management company known as Troon Golf. Troon manages approximately 200 facilities world-wide.
"The course has been open and running smoothly since last September when it hosted a great charity event for the Lords Taverner's in aid of underprivileged children.
"Anyone that has ever known me will testify that I have always been dedicated to Judas Priest and the fans, and nothing has ever stopped me from touring until now.
"I have been busy going to concerts, metal exhibitions, trying to help younger bands to get off the ground, and have plans to travel on business to other countries including Finland, Spain and the US this summer."