Sadiq Khan balloon takes flight in London | Politics


A giant balloon depicting London mayor Sadiq Khan scowling in a bikini has taken flight over Parliament Square in Westminster, in an attempt by campaigners to highlight the capital’s rise in violent crime.

The nine-metre (29ft) inflatable is a response to the Donald Trump baby balloon that Khan allowed to fly in July, with the campaign organiser Yanny Bruere describing himself as a free-speech advocate.

“In light of the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon being allowed to fly over London during his visit to the UK, let’s get a ‘Baby Khan’ one and see if free speech applies to all and whether or not Mr Khan and the London assembly will also approve this,” Bruere said on the Crowdfunder page he set up to raise money for the blimp.


Inflatable Sadiq Khan likeness flies over London – video

He continued: “Under Sadiq Khan, we have seen crime sky rocket to unprecedented levels. People in London don’t feel safe and they aren’t safe, [there have been] 81 murders this year alone!”

On Saturday morning, Bruere said he thought many people do not feel represented by Khan. He added: “I think a certain amount of respect should be afforded to the leader of the free world and the greatest ally the UK has – the president of America.”

The Crowdfunder page raised more than £59,000 from nearly 3,500 supporters. Katie Hopkins was an early backer, and Fox News and Russia Today have covered the campaign.

The original “Baby Khan” idea expressed on the page was replaced in reality with a mature mayor wearing sunshine-yellow swimwear, to reference his vow to ban “body-shaming” advertisements featuring bikini-clad models from the tube.

Khan himself seemed bemused by the balloon. “If people want to spend their Saturday looking at me in a yellow bikini, they’re welcome to do so. I don’t really think yellow’s my colour though,” he said.


‘Fragile, like the president’s ego’: Trump Baby blimp prepares for takeoff

City Hall granted the protesters permission to fly the blimp and by Saturday morning nearly 9,000 people had expressed interest on Facebook in going to see it, but far fewer turned up at Parliament Square.

“I think it’s very funny,” said Gavin Leonard, a spectator from east London. “I always expected the crowd to be smaller than the Trump crowds – this is a bit of fun.”

He added: “I think Sadiq Khan has been a terrible mayor for London. I’ve lived here for 25 years and the feeling of impending crime on the streets has never been worse.”



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