Thousands of fireworks covered the sky above central London as the UK welcomed 2019 overnight.

More than 100,000 people lined the banks of the Thames for the ticketed event, which saw eight tonnes of fireworks set off from three barges and from the London Eye.

Even Big Ben came out of hibernation to count down to midnight, having been closed down for renovation in August 2017.

The dazzling display was centred around the theme “London is open” – with the phrase spoken in seven languages at 12.02am: Italian, Polish, German, Romanian, Spanish, French and English.

The soundtrack featured the best European talent in what was billed as a rebuke of the “insular inward-looking” impression given of the UK in the lead-up to Brexit.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the fireworks display was about “showing the world, while they’re watching us, that we’re going to carry on being open-minded, outward-looking, pluralistic”.

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