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Baby blimp flies as May holds talks with Trump

July 13, 2018

A blimp depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby has taken off in London, kicking off a day of protests. Trump has outraged British politicians with his comments in a tabloid interview.

An inflatable Donald Trump blimp depicting the US president as a nappy-wearing baby is launched from Parliament Square
Image: picture-alliance/ZUMA/London NEws Pictures/J. Goodman

Opponents of US President Donald Trump inflated a 6-meter (20-foot) blimp depicting the US leader as an orange, diaper-wearing baby carrying a cellphone next to Parliament on Friday.

Hundreds of people showed up to watch the launch of the blimp, with organizers wearing red jumpsuits with the phrase "Trump babysitter" on their backs.

Stopping outside May's residence at 10 Downing Street, some protesters shouted: "Shame on you!"

Anti-Trump protests in London: DW's Barbara Wesel

Daniel Jones, a charity communications officer who helped organize the blimp, said the stunt was supposed to make people smile while also underlining serious criticism of the US leader.

"It's also about giving a boost to those in America resisting his policies," he said.

The Trump blimp towers over two protesters with red caps and jumpsuits marked "Trump babysitters"
The blimp's organizers dubbed themselves "Trump babysitters"Image: picture-alliance/ZUMA/London NEws Pictures/J. Goodman

Tens of thousands were expected to take part in a demonstration later in the day in London, as well as in other British cities.

In an interview with British tabloid The Sun, Trump said the planned protests made him feel unwelcome, prompting him to avoid the capital.

"I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London," Trump told the newspaper.

"I used to love London as a city. I haven't been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?"

'Where are your manners?'

Some British politicians expressed outrage over Trump's interview, particularly his criticism of British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit negotiation strategy and his claim that she "didn't listen" to his advice on the issue.

"Where are your manners, Mr President?" tweeted Universities Minister Sam Gyimah.

Other politicians within May's Conservative party criticized Trump for insulting the prime minister as she hosted him for part of his four-day trip to Britain.

"If signing up to the Trump world view is the price of a deal, it's not worth paying," Sarah Wollaston, a Conservative MP, wrote on Twitter.

Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign minister for the opposition Labour Party, described Trump's comments as "extraordinarily rude."

"She is his host. What did his mother teach him? This is not the way you behave," Thornberry told broadcaster ITV.

rs/rc (AP, Reuters)