LONDON: President Trump is scheduled to visit London next week, and a giant balloon portraying Trump as an orange baby throwing a tantrum will reportedly greet him near the UK Parliament. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has allowed this citing “the right to peaceful protest”.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Mayor Khan explained his decision to let the balloon fly.
“The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms,” the statement read
“His city operations team have met with the organizers and have given them permission to use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp.” Khan also noted that protest organizers will have to receive proper approvals from the Metropolitan Police and the National Air Traffic Service in order for the balloon to fly, as his main priority is “safety of all Londoners and visitors to our city.”
Trump, who arrives in a week’s time, will meet Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Theresa May, who was the first foreign leader to visit him after his inauguration last year.
Britain regards its close ties with the United States, which it calls the special relationship, as a pillar of its foreign policy as it prepares to leave the European Union (EU).
But some Britons see Trump as crude, volatile, and opposed to their values on a range of issues. Trump’s comments on militant attacks in Britain have sparked anger and he has often exchanged barbs on social media with the London mayor.
Khan has been openly critical of President Trump, and he was also the subject of one of Trump’s Twitter attacks last summer. Back in June 2017, Trump criticized Khan’s response to the London Bridge attacks, calling the mayor “pathetic” in a tweet. Khan later responded by saying he had “more important things to do” than to address Trump’s “ill-informed tweet.”