Sadiq Khan bikini balloon launched in London

  • Published
Media caption,
'Anti-Khan' bikini balloon launches

A giant balloon of a bikini-clad Sadiq Khan has been flown in London as part of a campaign to oust the capital's mayor.

Campaigners raised £58,182 for the 29ft-long blimp, which was launched in Parliament Square earlier.

Mr Khan said people were "welcome" to look at the balloon but he did not think the swimwear suited him.

Organiser Yanny Bruere has denied claims he is affiliated with any right-wing groups.

His anti-Khan crowdfunding campaign was launched following the Donald Trump baby balloon flown by protesters during the president's visit in July.

The giant inflatable of the mayor - a nod to the "Beach Body Ready" advert Mr Khan voiced his disapproval for in 2016 - was approved by City Hall, the police and air traffic controllers NATS.

Image source, David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Image caption,
Campaigners flew the 29ft-long blimp in Parliament Square

The fundraising page for the balloon said: "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.

"Under Sadiq Khan, we have seen crime skyrocket to unprecedented levels. People in London don't feel safe [...] Khan out."

Mr Khan said: "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."

Mr Bruere said any extra funds donated to the campaign would be used to arrange for the balloon to tour the UK.

Image source, David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Image caption,
Sadiq Khan said he did not think yellow was his colour

"It's been a great effort by everyone," he added.

"Families, children, young people, old people, it's been a real collection of different demographics come together."

But Mr Bruere also expressed concern about the response to his stunt in comparison with "Baby Trump".

Image caption,
Yanny Bruere said he felt he had been subject to more public criticism than those who brought "Baby Trump" to the same spot

"With this campaign, I've been called far-right, and Nazi, and all this kind of thing," he said.

"None of it's true, obviously," he added.

"But it's just funny that the people who organised the Trump one were kind of widely praised and heralded for what they were doing.

"And I've done exactly the same thing, which is fly a political figure in the air [...] but suddenly I'm 'far-right' for doing it."

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