The Mayor of London explained the display, which typically takes place near the London Eye, will not go ahead as ‘we can’t afford’ to have large numbers of people congregating amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Khan added the New Year will instead be welcomed by ‘something that people can enjoy in the comfort of their living rooms,’ but was unable to give details.
Speaking to LBC today, he said: ‘I can tell you there will not be fireworks on New Year’s Eve this year like in previous years, we simply can’t afford to have the numbers of people who congregate on New Year’s Eve congregating.
Sadiq Khan has cancelled New Year’s Eve celebrations in London as he confirmed there will be ‘no fireworks’ and ‘nothing happening’ on December 31
The Mayor of London explained the display, which typically takes place near the London Eye, will not go ahead as ‘we can’t afford’ to have large numbers of people congregating amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: The 2020 celebration
‘What we’re working on, we’re not in a position to explain what it is yet, but what we’re working on is something that people can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their living rooms on TV.
‘As soon as we’ve managed to bottom that out I’ll be letting Londoners know and people across the country.’
Asked how he would keep people out of London on the night, he replied: ‘Well there will be nothing happening in town, we’re trying to avoid a reason for people to come in.’
The Mayor added: ‘We can’t afford to lose that slot because New Year’s Eve is a really great opportunity for the rest of the world to see how wonderful our city is.
‘Particularly during a recession we need to continue investment in our city and people coming to London.’
Mr Khan added the New Year will instead be welcomed by ‘something that people can enjoy in the comfort of their living rooms,’ but was unable to give details
New Year’s Eve typically sees around 100,000 people gather near the South Bank in London to watch a dazzling fireworks display across the River Thames.
The display, which was watched by more than 11 million people across the UK on television in 2018, had a total budget of £2.3million that year.
Following the news that the annual pyrotechnics will not go ahead this year, dozens of social media users took to Twitter with some condemning the move as the ‘final straw’.
One user said: ‘London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks cancelled is the last straw. I want to celebrate the end of this year like no other year yet.’
Another added: ‘Not only is Christmas cancelled, but so is New Year’s Eve as the London fireworks display for the evening is no longer happening.
Following the news that the annual pyrotechnics will not go ahead this year, dozens of social media users took to Twitter with some condemning the move as the ‘final straw’
‘I am going to bed at 10pm on the eve with the hope of waking up in a better year.’
A third said: ‘I’ve been like “fair nuff” for every cancelled event, but this is just depressing.
‘So many of us pinning our hopes on 2020 being the end of Corona, which I know deep down is fantasy – just makes me realise 2021 is going to continue to be bleak let’s be fair.’
Another social media user commented: ‘I’m actually gutted that they’ve cancelled the New Year’s Firework display.
‘Why couldn’t they just ban gatherings in central London and broadcast the fireworks on BBC1 like normal?’
But others welcomed the move, with one user writing: ‘Yay. Thank the pandemic for something. The birds, dogs, casts and other creatures of London which are terrified of fireworks will be thrilled.’
Another said: ‘Cancelling London’s New Year fireworks is an excellent decision. It should be permanent.
‘Its an egregious waste of money for the brief entertainment of morons.’
Another joked that last year’s mishap – which left the display appearing as a ‘blurred smoke fest’ – may have been ‘some sort of omen.’
He said: ‘In hindsight, maybe the wind blowing the wrong way at the #newyearreve #londonfireworks of 2019 so all the smoke went into the tv cameras was some sort of omen.’
Another social media user joked that last year’s mishap – which left the display appearing as a ‘blurred smoke fest’ – may have been ‘some sort of omen’
Hundreds last year complained of difficulties with viewing the London fireworks display, as smoke prevented viewers from watching on the television
Fireworks explode over the London Eye Ferris wheel by the River Thames in London, to mark the start of 2020. But some complained of issues with watching the display
The London Eye was almost obscured by all the smoke during the fireworks display in the capital last year
Mr Khan’s office blamed the weather after Britons complained of difficulties watching the the capital’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display last year.
Hundreds of people took to Twitter following the fireworks, which featured more than 12,000 pyrotechnics, to raise concerns about the issue – which the Mayor’s office has said was down to an unusual wind direction.
A light easterly wind is believed to have unusually blown the smoke from the fireworks on the London Eye directly towards the Victoria Embankment, rather than down the River Thames or behind the London Eye.
This meant reduced visibility for some members of the public directly opposite – although other viewing areas had a clearer view of the display as about 100,000 revellers packed into the streets around the landmark.
In July, Mr Khan said the Greater London Authority was ‘working through available options’ for the celebration, which last year had a budget of £3.4million.
He said: ‘In line with following the Government guidelines, we are currently looking at what considerations need to be made with regards marking New Year in London and working through the available options.
‘We will be looking to make a decision later in the summer.’