London Mayor Sadiq Khan has sparked anger among Brexiteers with what has been seen as a pro-EU fireworks display in London.
During the show in the British capital, the London Eye appeared to be lit up in the colours of the EU flag, while songs played during the ceremony included We Are Your Friends, Stay, and Don’t Leave Me Alone.
The phrase "London is open" was spoken in seven languages around two minutes past midnight as the city skyline filled with lights in the largest annual display in Europe.
Tonight's spectacular #LondonNYE fireworks showed that whatever the outcome of Brexit - #LondonIsOpen - to business, to talent, to ideas, to creativity - and why London really is the greatest city in the world.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 1, 2019
To everyone in London and across the globe: #HappyNewYear pic.twitter.com/vjGBANrGBL
Mr Khan said the sold-out display would show Europe that the capital will remain "open-minded" and "outward looking" post-Brexit.
He said Westminster politicians had given the world the impression that Britain is "insular, inward looking", as Britain begins the new year countdown to Brexit.
Mr Khan said he hoped this year's event would "send a message of support" to the more than one million European citizens for whom London is home.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen was not impressed. He was quoted by the Sun newspaper as saying: "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."