London Eye morphs into EU flag during NYE fireworks extravaganza
Fireworks explode over the London Eye during the New Year's eve celebrations after midnight in London, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Published Tuesday, January 1, 2019 11:01AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 1, 2019 7:40PM EST
London’s mayor is being accused of politicizing the arrival of 2019 by showing support for the European Union during the city’s New Year’s fireworks display.
A crowd of more than 100,000 people gathered in London to ring in the new year. At one point, the London Eye Ferris wheel lit up in blue as yellow-coloured fireworks were set off inside its circle, creating an image that bore a striking resemblance to the flag of the European Union.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has been a vocal public supporter of the EU and opponent of Brexit. Khan tweeted a photo of the display, saying it was “sending a message across the globe” that London would remain open to the rest of the continent post-Brexit.
“Our one million EU citizens are Londoners, they make a huge contribution, and no matter the outcome of Brexit – they will always be welcome,” he tweeted.
The display also included Khan saying the phrase “London is open” and others on-stage repeating it in other European languages.
Roger Helmer, a former Member of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom, tweeted that Khan was showing “the other side’s flag” on a British landmark and likened the display to raising the Argentinian flag during the war over the Falkland Islands.
Sending a message across the globe: London's diversity will always be our strength. Our one million EU citizens are Londoners, they make a huge contribution, and no matter the outcome of Brexit - they will always be welcome.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 1, 2019
Happy New Year, London. #LondonIsOpen #LondonNYE pic.twitter.com/OR8qWqOER1
While the UK is locked in critical negotiations with Brussels, Sadiq Khan chooses to display the other side’s flag on the London Eye. Would he have shown an Argentinian flag during the Falklands War? https://t.co/d2O0bHbBPn— Roger Helmer (@RogerHelmerMEP) January 1, 2019