Giant Donald Trump baby balloon plan sparks online row


Trump Baby over Parliament

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Jason Hawkes

Image caption

The ‘Trump Baby’ balloon is due to take off from Parliament Square

Plans to fly a giant inflatable depicting Donald Trump as a baby over London during the US president’s visit have sparked an online row.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given permission for the helium-filled six-metre (19.7ft) high balloon to fly.

Some people on social media have welcomed the blimp protest, while others have described it as “juvenile” and “disrespectful”.

Mr Trump is due to meet Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on 13 July.

Campaigners raised almost £18,000 to pay for the inflatable, which they said reflects Mr Trump’s character as an “angry baby with a fragile ego and tiny hands”.

Republicans Overseas spokesman Drew Liquerman said the blimp was “cringeworthy”, but he doesn’t believe the US president will care about it.

“Frankly it’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for the people flying it, for the British residents of London and for people in the UK,” he added.

“I don’t think it will bother him.”

Social media has been split between those who view the blimp as a suitable protest against the president…

And others who have been critical of Mr Khan’s decision to let it go ahead…

However, some have also seen a funnier side to the debate.

Under the plans the inflatable will be allowed to fly for two hours on the morning of Friday 13 July, using Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point.

A statement on behalf of Mr Khan said he “supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms”.

More than 10,000 people signed a petition calling for the inflatable to be given permission to fly, activists said.

Leo Murray, who is behind the crowdfunded idea, said: “[Mr Trump] 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.”

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Andrew Aitchison

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Campaigners raised almost £18,000 to pay for the six-metre high inflatable

Mr Khan and Mr Trump have repeatedly clashed on Twitter, including in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack.

A counter-protest which aims to fund a “Sadiq Khan baby balloon” has received more than £10,000 of support.

Before the inflatable can take off, campaigners also need permission from the National Air Traffic Service and Met Police.

Max Wakefield, who is one of the people working on the project, said the group is “confident it will obtain all necessary permits”.

Mr Trump has so far made no comment.



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