Sting was furious when Stewart Copeland's father claimed The Police were CIA pawns.

Stewart's dad, Miles Axe Copeland Jr was a former CIA agent and in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1986, he implied that The Police - comprised of Stewart, Sting and Andy Summers - were a psychological operations outfit, who played shows to ''70,000 young minds open to whatever the Police decide to put into them''.

Stewart, 68, told The Guardian newspaper: ''You know it got old Sting on a bad day. He knew my father very well, and he regrets it now but he took adversely the suggestion that he was a CIA pawn.''

While Stewart was The Police's drummer, his brothers were also involved with the band, with Miles III acting as manager and Ian as booking agent and Stewart admitted some people considered the siblings ''rightwing monsters'' because of their dad.

He said: ''I think behind our backs people did write the Copeland brothers off as rightwing monsters, but I got on pretty well with everybody. Decades later I remember hanging out with Rage Against the Machine and Zack [de la Rocha] was looking at me pretty funny but the other guys were friendly. His main problem was that I played polo.''

Miles left the CIA in 1957 but his sons did not discover his life as a spy until he published his book ' The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics' in 1969.

Stewart - who has created a podcast 'My Dad the Spy' about his father's life - said: ''He didn't lie to us. He just didn't tell us the whole story. But we never asked. It may surprise you to know - and it surprises me to recall - that we didn't think about it that much.

''Everything I learned at his knee in the family home was confirmed by the historians. Not only was his nature described exactly as I remember him - a very jocular, cheerful, witty, charming man - but also the stories.''