LONDON (AP) – Protesters seeking to oust London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Saturday launched a giant balloon over Parliament Square depicting him dressed in a yellow bikini.
A small group of supporters watched the inflatable take to the skies, and the crowd cheered and shouted, “higher, higher, higher” as the balloon was launched.
Protesters believe Khan has failed to curtail street crime in London, and some wore T-shirts reading “Make London safe again.”
Organizers had raised more than 58,000 pounds ($75,000) to create the blimp in a protest against Khan’s policies.
It was meant as a rebuke to Khan, who backed protesters’ right to launch a giant balloon depicting U.S. President Donald Trump as an angry baby during his July visit to Britain.
Organizer Yanny Bruere said Saturday’s protest was set up “in retaliation” for 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 U.K. has,” he said.
Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, has been repeatedly criticized by Trump for his handling of security and crime in the British capital.
The bikini is a reference to an advertisement Khan banned from the city’s transport network that showed a young woman in a skimpy yellow bikini asking, “Are you beach body ready?”
He said the weight loss ad was demeaning, but opponents argued banning it was an attack on free speech.
Protester Steve Charlston said Khan was a “complete hypocrite,” saying he deemed the beach body ad offensive enough to ban it but felt it was “fine and dandy” to allow the anti-Trump blimp to fly over London while the president was visiting.