Bikini-clad blimp of Sadiq Khan takes to the skies over London in £58,000 protest

A giant balloon of London mayor Sadiq Khan in a yellow bikini has been launched over Parliament Square.

A small crowd of supporters and press gathered in central London to see the giant inflatable on Saturday morning.

Organisers raised more than £58,000 for the 29ft blimp as part of a campaign seeking to remove Mr Khan from his post.

The balloon was funded by donations Credit: David Mirzoeff/PA

The stunt comes after the London mayor defended the flying of a similar blimp depicting Donald Trump over the capital during the US president’s visit to the UK in July.

There were cheers and shouts of “higher, higher, higher” as the balloon was raised up into the sky.

Campaigners claim crime has risen sharply during Mr Khan’s time in City Hall and some wore t-shirts saying: “Stop the Khanage” and “Make London safe again”.

White underpants and masks with a caricature of the mayor’s face on were also being given out.

Yanny Bruere, 28, from Northampton, who set up a Crowdfunder page for the event, said it was done “in retaliation” to the Trump blimp.

“I think a certain amount of respect should be afforded to the leader of the free world and the greatest ally the UK has – the president of America,” he added.

“Obviously a lot of people feel the same, that Sadiq Khan doesn’t represent them and doesn’t speak for them and obviously they all want to see Sadiq Khan on a giant blimp as well.

The crowdfunding campaign hit its target after a week of heavy promotion in July, as US President Donald Trump prepared to visit the UK.

The “Trump Baby” balloon flew in London in July Credit: PA

Fox News and Russia Today covered the campaign, as did conspiracy site InfoWars and Tommy Robinson’s former employers The Rebel Media.

Other early supporters included Katie Hopkins and American anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller.

Mr Bruere also said: “It highlights more important issues like crime in London which is just incredible this year.

“We have seen triple figures in deaths already since January.”

The choice of yellow bikini comes from a decision by Mr Khan in 2016 that Transport for London would not allow adverts on its network which could create body confidence issues, following a storm over a protein shake poster which featured a model posing in a yellow bikini that asked “Are you beach body ready?”

A group of people dance in front of the inflated blimp Credit: David Mirzoeff/PA

Supporter Gavin Leonard, 59, from east London, said he thought the £10,000 cost of the blimp was “money well spent”.

He added: “I think it’s very funny, it deliberately subverts the beach body ready adverts that Sadiq was so keen to ban.

“I always expected the crowd to be smaller than the Trump crowds – this is a bit of fun.

“I think Sadiq Khan has been a terrible mayor for London. I think he’s a liar because he said he would cut crime, knew we had no police to do it, so got in by telling lies.”

Augustine Chukwuma Obodo, 50, founder of Friends of Trump UK, said: “This reaffirms everything that Trump has been saying – this city has fallen to the liberals and has insecurity, killings and maiming.

“We are here today to tell the whole world that Sadiq Khan has failed and that everything Trump has been saying is happening here in the UK.

“And when he speaks they say he’s a racist, I don’t know why Trump is a racist – he speaks only truth.”

Mr Khan appeared relaxed about the stunt, previously telling ITV London: “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.”

The blimp will fly over the square for two hours until 11.30am.