LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan’s choice to celebrate the capital’s “close relationship with Europe” during the traditional New Year’s fireworks display has sparked fury across the country, with outraged Britons branding the demonstration a “disgraceful ploy”.
Mr Khan “ruined” the yearly display by turning it into a Remain-backing show, many disappointed viewers of the fireworks said. Roughly 100,000 people gathered along the Thames to watch the show and millions more saw it broadcasted by the BBC. But many were hugely disheartened to see the firework display was turned into a political message - and took their rage to Twitter.
Twitter user Dominic McGinty wrote: “Disgraceful ploy at London fireworks tonight.. lightning the EU flag up and not the union Jack, he needs to go.. looking forward to leaving babylon... God bless Brexit Britain.”
Another social media user accused Mr Khan of using the fireworks for “political gain”, writing: “The London fireworks are a tradition now!
The fireworks show formed part of the Mayor’s London Is Open campaign, which aims at showing that the capital remains “open to the world, proud of our diversity and inclusive to everyone” despite Brexit, as stated on the London City Hall’s website.
Prior to the display, Mr Khan said: "Every year our capital puts on the greatest fireworks show in the world with the spectacular images of our skyline shared all around the globe.
"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 some Britons said this was unfair, as the show was not just for Londoners.