Trump supporters enraged by ‘angry baby’ balloon to fly over London during president’s UK trip

Protest called 'cringeworthy' and 'juvenile', while counter-campaign to fly a similar Sadiq Khan blimp has now reached its funding target

Saturday 07 July 2018 13:04 BST
Inflatable depicting Donald Trump as an angry baby to be flown over London during US president's visit

Plans to fly a giant balloon depicting Donald Trump as an angry orange baby over London when the US president visits next Friday have enraged his supporters.

London’s City Hall, run by mayor Sadiq Khan, has granted permission for the six-metre inflatable – complete with nappy and man boobs – to go up for two hours at Parliament Square Gardens. Campaigners raised £18,000 online to fund the blimp.

But political allies and acolytes of Mr Trump have slammed the stunt. Republicans Overseas spokesman Drew Liquerman called it “cringeworthy”.

He said: “It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for the people flying it, for the British residents of London and for people in the UK.”

Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, said: “This is the biggest insult to a sitting US president ever. Would this be happening if it was Obama? Makes London look ridiculous.”

And the plans drew much ire on social media too. “It’s juvenile, disrespectful and offensive,” wrote one Twitter user, Andrew Lindsay, a corporate lawyer. “There are ways to demonstrate. This is not one of them. Grow up Mayor!”

Another, train driver Stuart Miller said: “Nothing from Sadiq Khan when the Saudi Prince visited in March this year. Chemical attacks in Yemen, appalling human rights and killing homosexuals. It’s fashionable to hate Trump and will probably get him another run at Mayor.”

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A counterprotest which aims to fly a “Sadiq Khan baby balloon” has also been set up – and, on Friday, met its required funding target. It remains to be seen if City Hall grants permission for that to also go up.

Anti-Trump campaigners say their inflatable baby is a form of peaceful protest. They say the blimp reflects Mr Trump’s character as an “angry baby with a fragile ego and small hands”.

Organiser Nona Hurkmans said: “We are just a small group of friends who set out to use humour to take a stand against the rise of racist and fascist politics both here in the UK and over in the US.”

Leo Murray, who is also behind the project, said that the prisident ”really seems to hate it when people make fun of him. We want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him.”

The US president is expected to arrive in the capital on Thursday evening and, on Friday, will likely visit Blenheim Palace, meet the Queen at Windsor and hold talks with prime minister Theresa May at Chequers before travelling to his golf courses in Scotland.

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