Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games contacted Alex Salmond's office in attempt to ban coverage by The Sun following medals stunt
By Stephen Lepitak and Angela HaggertyThe Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games committee is understood to have approached the office of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond in an attempt to ban media partner the Scottish Sun from covering the games after it pulled a stunt during the medal unveiling ceremony. The Drum has learned that a complaint was made to Salmond following a stunt pulled by the paper on 15 April during the unveiling of the design of the Games medals in which the Sun presented a gold medal for the u-turn on the decision to demolish the Red Road flats as part of the opening ceremony. Gordon Smart, editor of the Scottish Sun, later that evening tweeted that the paper had been accused of an “ill-judged stunt” and that he needed “15 minutes to calm down”.This came just days after Smart tweeted to promote a 16-page Commonwealth Games supplement in the paper.It is understood that the 2014 organisers were so infuriated that it contacted Salmond's office on the same evening as the stunt to ask for his backing in removing the publication as a media sponsor and from covering the Games outright. It seems however, that he failed to agree, as the newspaper continues to be a media partner at the time of writing. A spokesperson for the Sun confirmed to The Drum that its Glasgow office had received a call from the First Minister’s office following the stunt. They added: "The Scottish Sun was delighted to be part of the successful campaign to stop the Red Road demolition. It is a shame the Games organisers couldn't accept the medal as a sign of the gratitude of the Glasgow community for their principled volte-face."However, the Games Committee has denied it took such action, with a spokesperson having told The Drum that the story was "entirely untrue". The Scottish Government has also informed The Drum that it has no record of any intervention. In August, a deal which saw several Scottish media outlets, including the Scottish Sun, paid to become official media partners with the Games organisers was queried as potentially nullifying their editorial independence, which both the Daily Mail and Newsquest denied would be the case. Last week, in addressed a conference for the Scottish media, Salmond called for publishers to embrace a UK government Royal Charter for regulation of the press.
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