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Sajid Javid tells London mayor to reconsider cancellation of New Year’s Eve fireworks

·2-min read
London's spectacular New Year fireworks display is cancelled for the second year in a row  (PA)
London's spectacular New Year fireworks display is cancelled for the second year in a row (PA)

There is "no reason" for London's famous New Year's Eve fireworks display to be cancelled, the Health Secretary said on Thursday. 

Sajid Javid urged Mayor Sadiq Khan to reconsider his decision to call off the celebration on the banks of the Thames for the second year in a row.

City Hall has blamed “uncertainty caused by Covid” for cancelling the event, which usually sees about 100,000 people pack the streets around Victoria Embankment

The Mayor’s office told the Standard there will be an alternative “spectacular New Year’s Eve event” to replace the fireworks this year, which will include a “brand-new celebration in Trafalgar Square”.    

But Mr Javid said the fireworks display should go ahead because it is a ” fantastic advert for London” . 

"I can’t understand why [the fireworks] can’t happen,” Mr Javid told LBC’s Nick Ferrari. 

“I think there’s a perfectly safe way that it can take place, so I really don’t understand that decision. But that’s not a decision for the Government. It’s the Mayor’s firework display, so I hope he can reconsider it.” 

A YouGov poll his week found that 61 per cent of Britons, including 64 per cent of Londoners, support the decision to cancel New Year’s Eve fireworks display. 

A Mayor of London spokesman added: “It takes a year to organise an event of this magnitude, and for most of that year we have been in lockdown and Covid uncertainty with the Government unable to confirm if mass gatherings would be able to go ahead. 

“To arrange an event on the Thames which had to then be cancelled would have wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money at a time of major financial pressures.”

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