The Mayor's New Year's Eve ID hypocrisy adds to fireworks fiasco fury, writes Christine Wallace

2 January 2024, 17:30 | Updated: 3 January 2024, 07:14

The Mayor's New Years Eve ID hypocrisy adds to fireworks fiasco fury, writes Christine Wallace
The Mayor's New Years Eve ID hypocrisy adds to fireworks fiasco fury, writes Christine Wallace. Picture: Alamy/LBC
Christine Wallace

By Christine Wallace

  • Christine is the Conservative GLA candidate for Lambeth & Southwark

Sadiq Khan's latest stunt at the London New Year's Eve fireworks has sparked a wave of criticism about his actual priorities.

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Rather than focusing on organising the iconic event effectively, Khan appeared more invested in injecting it with political undertones and divisiveness to make the celebration a platform for his self-promotion.

The anger is simply palpable – how dare he claim credit after seven years of decline in our beautiful capital and the residents picking up the bill?

How dare he, in a shameless attempt at singing Kumbaya, preach about making London a place for everyone, while simultaneously making Londoners feel like they are being forced out from the capital, their home?

The frustration is not only at the politicization of the beloved event but also at its dismal management.

Numerous attendees, having paid and queued for hours, were denied entry to the fireworks. Worse still, in some areas the situation spiralled into a breakdown of public order, with frustrated attendees resorting to violence and knocking down barriers.

Like so many incidents in 2023, Sadiq Khan once again failed to maintain public order in London.

Part of the problem was caused by the failure to communicate information about the need for IDs for entry - obscurely buried in the depths of the “Frequently Asked Questions” segment on the Mayor of London’s event ticket website.

This is particularly ironic given Khan and the Labour Party's resistance to voter ID reforms for electoral integrity. If ID is needed for something as simple as verifying purchase for a fireworks display, or indeed the Labour Party’s own democratic processes, why oppose its use in maintaining the integrity of our elections?

Khan's handling of the New Year's Eve fireworks mirrors his overall approach as Mayor: self-promoting, lacking in public order, poorly communicated, with a priority for his personal agenda over Londoners' interests.

As Mayoral taxes hit another record high, it's clear Londoners deserve better.

A new, Conservative Mayor could offer a fresh start that our once great city so desperately needs.