Sadiq Khan revenge balloon flies above London | News | DW | 01.09.2018
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Sadiq Khan revenge balloon flies above London

Just a handful of Londoners turned up to see the launch of a balloon caricature of Sadiq Khan. The balloon was meant to "humiliate" Khan as revenge for his attitude to Donald Trump.

Organizer Yanny Bruere told reporters on Saturday that the 10-meter (32-foot) balloon of London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched from Parliament Square was "retaliation" for the "Baby Trump" blimp that Khan had allowed to be flown over Westminster in July.

"I think a certain amount of respect should be afforded to the leader of the free world and the greatest ally the UK has," he said.

Khan had said at the time that Trump, on a visit to the UK, was "not welcome here."

Bruere, who describes himself as a free speech advocate and has previously been accused of anti-Semitism, told reporters the aim of the exercise was "to put Sadiq Khan in the same position and humiliate him in his hometown, in London."

Read moreDonald Trump far-right Twitter posts spark outrage in UK

The balloon was financed by 60,000 pounds (€68,000, $77,000) of crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding page said the campaign was also a protest against Khan for allowing crime to rise to "unprecedented" levels.

Some of those who attended the launch wore T-shirts reading "Make London safe again." Khan has been criticized by Trump for his handling of security and crime in the capital.

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The yellow bikini was chosen, Bruere said, because Khan had banned London's transport network from using ads that the mayor said "created body confidence issues," after a protein shake poster featuring a model in a yellow bikini had been widely criticized.

Khan argued in July that Londoners had a right to peaceful protest and told television news on Saturday that people were welcome to watch this stunt too.

"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 color though," he told ITV News.

Some chose to ridicule the event:

jbh/nm (dpa, AP, AFP)

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