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Norway will not send new Trafalgar Square Christmas tree funds after criticism

Norway will not send new Trafalgar Square Christmas tree funds after criticism
Officials in Oslo voted against sending funds for a new Christmas tree after the first was criticised, Westminster City Council has said.

Norway will not be sending funds for a new Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square after the first one was criticised.

Councillors in Oslo decided against sending funds for a new tree during budgetary meetings on Wednesday, Westminster City Council have said.

The first – sent last week – was criticised by some, who described it as “sparse”.

One social media user said it was the “most anaemic tree possible” and another said: “The Trafalgar tree’s looking a bit sparse this year … who upset Norway then? Come on, own up.”

The lighting-up ceremony for the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Norway sends the UK a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square every year as an annual tradition to thank its attempts to help defend the country during the Second World War.

The tradition has been in place since 1947.

The tree’s lights were turned on last week in the presence of the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, who said: “It really is an honour for me to present to you this year’s Christmas tree from Oslo.”

Westminster City Council confirmed on Wednesday evening the proposal had been voted down and Norway would not be sending funds to pay for a new tree for Trafalgar Square.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Andrew Smith – who was also present as the lights on the tree were switched on last week – said: “As always, we are hugely grateful to the people of Norway for sending us this annual gift, which plays a vital role in making Westminster an even more beautiful place to visit at Christmas.

“The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is an annual gift from the people of Norway in thanks for Britain’s support in World War II. Its shape and size may change, but it’s a perennial reminder of the friendship between two nations and the enduring bonds forged in adversity.

“The tree lighting ceremony is a cherished tradition which has taken place in the heart of London every year since 1947, and the number of people who turned up last week to see the lights being switched on is testament to that.

“We want the people of Oslo and of Norway to know how much we appreciate their generosity.”