Tory Brexiteer in New Year fury as Labour's Sadiq Khan beams EU flag onto London Eye

Posted On: 
1st January 2019

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been accused of "politicising" the capital's New Year celebrations after the London Eye was lit up like the flag of the European Union in a pointed rebuke of Brexit.

The London Mayor said he wanted to "send a message of support to more than one million EU citizens who call London their home".
Credit: 
PA

More than 100,000 revellers gathered for the capital's official celebration along the banks of the Thames last night.

The festivities were centred around the theme 'London is Open' and saw the key phrase spoken in seven different European languages just after midnight, while the London Eye big wheel was briefly lit up in the familiar blue and yellow colours of the EU's flag.

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An 11-minute soundtrack of artists from around the EU meanwhile included tracks called 'Don’t Leave Me Alone', 'We Are Your Friends' and 'Stay'.

Mr Khan - who represents a city which voted 59.9% in favour of staying in the EU in 2016 - said he wanted to challenge an "insular inward-looking" impression of Britain.

 

 

The London mayor said: "I’m proud that this year the millions watching around the world will see us send a message of support to more than one million EU citizens who call London their home.

"By paying tribute to our close relationship with Europe as we welcome in the New Year, we will once again will show the world that London will always be open."

But Conservative MP and Brexit-supporter Andrew Bridgen accused Mr Khan of a "betrayal of democracy".

He told the Sun: "It’s low, it’s very low to politicise what is an international public event.

“It’s a betrayal of democracy and it’s what we have come to expect from a very poor mayor of London.

“Over three million EU citizens have decided to make the UK their home despite Brexit.

"I wish all our politicians had as much confidence in post-Brexit Britain as these people."