‘Trump Baby’ blimp to fly again during his visit to London
Donald Trump is coming back to London — and so is the “Trump Baby” blimp. A 20-foot-tall balloon depicting the United States President as a wailing baby in a nappy will fly over London again during his upcoming state visit in June, protesters have confirmed.
Organizers are also looking at ways to scale up their protest — having decided against raising funds for an even bigger hot air balloon.
“The original Trump baby blimp will definitely be back,” Leo Murray, one of its creators, told CNN. “We are looking at other creative interventions we could make,” Murray added. “We’d looked into commissioning a bigger balloon, including getting quotes for hot air balloons — but decided against it as it’s so expensive.”
The blimp became the defining image of massive protests in London during Trump’s working visit to Britain last year, flying next to the Houses of Parliament as hundreds of thousands took to the streets. Organizers said 250,000 people attended.
Trump was kept away from London during much of that trip, but he is likely to spend more time in the city on his first official state visit to the UK in June, which was announced by Buckingham Palace on Tuesday — meaning the President could see the unflattering likeness while carrying out professional engagements.
“If he is going to address Parliament … then flying him from Parliament Square again would be perfect,” Murray said. “Trump Baby destroys his fantasy about how the world sees him.”
Foreign leaders typically address lawmakers on state visits, as well as meeting with the Queen and other members of the royal family. But several members of Parliament are hoping to block Trump from speaking, and more than 60 have supported a motion calling for his invitation to be revoked.
“Deluded, dishonest, xenophobic, narcissistic, Donald Trump is no friend of Britain,” David Lammy, an MP for the opposition Labour Party, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “He is not fit to hold public office, let alone worthy of our country’s highest honours and a banquet with the Queen. Theresa May is selling out the UK to a serial liar and a cheat.”
Thousands have also expressed interest on social media in another protest during the visit. Last year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom Trump has frequently insulted on Twitter, approved the request for the blimp to fly after more than 10,000 people signed a petition and £16,000 was raised in a crowdfunding campaign.
A spokesman for the mayor hinted that another request would receive approval. “Any application to fly it on land that the Greater London Authority manage will be judged by the same criteria as last time by GLA officials, the police and the Civil Aviation Authority,” he said in a statement sent to CNN.
Trump has criticized Khan on several occasions, including in the wake of terror attacks in London, and the mayor has, in turn, made clear his opposition to the President.
British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to make a state visit to the UK when she met him in the White House a week after his inauguration.
John Bercow, the Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons said in 2017 that he was “strongly opposed” to letting Trump address lawmakers, citing Parliament’s “opposition to racism and sexism.”
In a statement released Tuesday, the White House said the state visit “will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”