During Questions to the Mayor at the London Assembly yesterday, Peter Whittle, leader of the Brexit Alliance Group, urged Sadiq Khan to bin the EU flag outside City Hall for Brexit day on January 31. He said: “I’m very pleased to hear about your efforts to reduce waste and rubbish in London.” Pointing towards the main entrance of City Hall, the Brexiteer added: “Can you add to it, please, that EU flag which is still flying outside.
“You have two weeks to do it.
“Get it down and put it in the dustbin!”
While some members of the London Assembly can be heard cheering on Mr Whittle, the Mayor did not seem pleased with the Brexiteer’s demand.
He rebuked: “One man’s waste is another man’s very proud EU flag.”
The Mayor’s refusal is the latest blow for Brexiteers and their plans to celebrate the day Britain finally leaves the bloc.
After Boris Johnson called on the public to “bung a bob” for Big Ben to sound the moment Britain leaves the EU, more than £150,000 was raised on the GoFundMe crowdfunding site.
The Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group Mark Francois donated £1,000 and by last night, 8,300 people from 38 countries had chipped in, including Andrea Leadsom, the Business Secretary.
However, the effort appears to be in vain as the House of Commons Commission – chaired by the Speaker – announced last night that the money could not be used because of parliamentary rules on financial donations.
They will, though, turn it into an exhibit in a Museum of the European Union built partly with British taxpayers’ money.
Brexit Party MEPs had lobbied for a flag-lowering ceremony, a Brussels analogue to the campaign to have Big Ben “Bong for Brexit” in London.
Instead, the European Parliament president, David Sassoli, will preside over a low-key ceremony with British MEPs on the evening of January 29, shortly after the vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement.