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Mayor Sadiq Khan's bikini-clad balloon to fly over London


Press Trust of India London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan today downplayed a giant yellow bikini-clad balloon of him set to fly over the city demanding his ouster over growing safety concerns in the city.
A crowdfunded Make London Safe Again campaign raised more than 58,000 pounds for the 29-foot giant balloon as part of its drive calling for Khan's removal from his post.
"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," Khan said.
The balloon, along the lines of a Donald Trump giant "angry baby" inflatable blimp that flew over Parliament Square in London during the US President's UK visit in July, is set to rise above the same spot on Saturday morning.
A spokesperson for City Hall, the Mayor's office, said the organisers of the bikini blimp's flight had been given permission to use Parliament Square Garden.
"As always, City Hall has been working in very close coordination with the Metropolitan Police and other key agencies to ensure this protest is able to be carried out in a safe and secure way, the spokesperson said.
Protesters claim that the giant inflatable is intended to highlight the rising crime levels in the British capital under Khan's leadership.
"Under Sadiq Khan, we have seen crime skyrocket to unprecedented levels. People in London don't feel safe and they aren't safe, (there have been) 81 murders this year alone, Yanny Bruere, a self-proclaimed free speech advocate, wrote on the Make London Safe Again campaign fundraising page.
He added: "In light of the Donald Trump '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.
"Any surplus money raised will be used for a continuing campaign to remove Sadiq Khan from office and also for defending free speech which is constantly under attack."

The so-called "Baby Khan" inflatable depicts Khan lying on his side wearing a yellow bikini.
The London Mayor had angered Trump supporters when he gave permission for the US President's angry baby balloon to take flight in the city during the presidential visit in mid-July, saying the idea that we limit the rights to protest, we limit the rights to free speech because it may cause offence to a foreign leader is a very, very slippery slope."

A group calling itself Trump Babysitters had said at the time that the protest was intended as a humorous way to counter the misery created by the US President.

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First Published: Aug 31 2018 | 7:45 PM IST

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