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Demolition dropped from games opening ceremony

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Commonwealth Games organisers drop plans to feature Red Road flats' demolition as part of opening spectacular.

Campaigners have successfully forced the Commonwealth Games organising committee to drop plans to demolish the Red Roads flats in Glasgow as part of the opening ceremony.

The iconic flats were due to be spectacularly demolished as part of the opening festivities.

It's an indication that people power can be effective - Carolyn Leckie

However campaigners said the spectacle would be inappropriate and questioned the message the demolition would send.

They said it would also be insensitive to former residents as well as asylum seekers currently living in the sixth block.

An online petition against the demolition gathered more than 17,000 signatures.

Glasgow Housing Association, which owns the flats, citied reasons for safety for dropping the plans.

A GHA spokesman said: "As we have stated all along, public safety is our absolute priority.

“The demolitions will be rescheduled and we will continue to liaise and take the advice of the police and our demolition contractor."

In a statement, games’ chief executive David Grevemberg said: "We made it clear from the outset the absolute priority was safety and that this event would only happen during the opening ceremony if it was safe to do so.”

Scottish Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie, who launched the petition, said the planned demolition was undignified and said she welcomed the decision.

"It's the sensible decision. Because the organisers have changed their minds, presumably there's been some consensus developed behind the scenes between all the arms involved in this.

"It's an indication that people power can be effective."

The 30-storey structures were built in the mid-1960s and the original eight tower blocks housed more than 4,000 people.

The demolitions will now be rescheduled to a later date.