A group of self-declared “anti-fascist art activists” have been granted permission by Sadiq Khan’s Greater London Authority to fly a grotesque 20-foot inflatable caricature of President Donald J. Trump when he visits the city next week.
The balloon will fly next to Britain’s Houses of Parliament at Parliament Square Gardens during the U.S. President’s visit, and has been funded with nearly £17,000 in crowdfunding donations. A spokesman for the baby Trump group behind the stunt said of the creation that it is an “obscene mutant clone of the president”.
“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” a spokesman for Sadiq Khan told Sky News.
“His city operations team have met with the organisers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.”
Sun's out guns out pic.twitter.com/js2aVp2iid
— Trump Baby (@TrumpBabyUK) June 26, 2018
The 20-foot balloon will be restricted from flying any higher than 100 feet in the air, so that while it will visually dominate Westminster’s iconic Parliament Square Gardens, it will not be able to soar over the Big Ben clock tower, which stands at nearly 300 feet tall.
The balloon’s flight will coincide with the ‘Stop Trump’ March on Friday, July 13th.
Mayor Khan himself is an outspoken opponent of President Trump, having spoken out against him during the presidential election campaign and publicly backed Hillary Clinton.
Khan has repeatedly hit out at President Trump since he defeated the Democrat, saying the President would “not be welcomed” in London and calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel the President’s visit.
Congratulations and thank you to my great, very talented friends @IslingtonPlay! #MartinLutherKing was a HERO and I am very proud to have been invited to his very great playground, one of my favourite places! Thank you! pic.twitter.com/FXkDiwPc9b
— Trump Baby (@TrumpBabyUK) June 27, 2018
The giant baby caricature was authorised to be flown during the President’s visit despite the Mayor having declared, apparently without irony, that the visit would be unwelcome precisely because “London is a beacon of tolerance, acceptance and diversity” in 2017.
Khan has also repeatedly said he expects there to be counter-Trump protests at the time of the President’s visit. Speaking in April, the Mayor said he anticipated seeing protests but said it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for him to join them personally.
President Trump has hit back at Mayor Khan in return, particularly in the wake of the major terror attacks that have hit London in recent years, and Mayor Khan’s attitude to such events, which he has described as “part and parcel” of living in a global city.
In June 2017, the President tweeted: “We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse… At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”.”