The orchestrator of the 'Trump Baby' protest against the U.S. President's visit to Britain is a wealthy descendant of a former Labour peer, it can be revealed.
Leo Murray, grandson of the late Labour politician Anthony Greenwood, once scaled the roof of the House of Commons in a protest against Heathrow expansion.
And Michael Chessum, a prominent Momentum activist who dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘kinder politics’ in favour of ‘heads on sticks’, has co-organised the largest anti-Trump march.
A giant blimp depicting the President as a wailing baby in a nappy will fly near the Houses of Parliament next week after Mr Khan bowed to a petition of 10,000 signatures.
Leo Murray (left) is a grandson of a Labour MP and once scaled the roof of the Commons, while Michael Chessum (right), a prominent Momentum activist, has co-organised a
It will coincide with a day of nationwide demonstrations against Mr Trump’s first official visit to Britain as president, including a march through Trafalgar Square in central London expected to attract thousands.
Although the balloon still requires final approval from the police and national air traffic service, one of Trump Baby’s organisers, Max Wakefield, said the group behind the stunt are ‘confident it will obtain all necessary permits’.
As well as vicar’s son Mr Wakefield, 30, the team includes career activist Mr Murray, 41, formerly a member of airport expansion protest group Plane Stupid.
Mr Murray, a Royal Academy of Art graduate who rents out two flats in the £1.8million townhouse conversion in Hammersmith, West London, he shares with his headmistress wife, was once arrested for handcuffing himself to the Palace of Westminster alongside four other protesters against Heathrow expansion.
Describing the reasons behind the balloon, he said: ‘Mr Trump really seems to hate it when people make fun of him. We want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him.’
Also among the march’s main organisers are the Guardian journalist and Labour campaigner Owen Jones and the ‘Stop Trump Coalition’, a company set up by veteran protesters Dr Luke Cooper and Mr Chessum.
Leo Murray poses with the balloon depicting President Donald Trump as a baby in a nappy
Politics lecturer Luke Cooper (left) is one of the founders of the ‘Stop Trump Coalition’ which is organising a march on the same day the balloon (right) will fly over London
Dr Cooper, 33, is a senior lecturer in international politics at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and organiser of an anti-Brexit group.
Mr Chessum, 29, a fan of large PR stunts, once called for friends to dress up as Tudors to campaign against the EU Withdrawal Bill. He is an activist in the pro-Corbyn group Momentum.
Celebrities and politicians including Lily Allen, Paloma Faith, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and ex-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron have backed the campaigns against Mr Trump.
Protests during his visit to Britain are planned throughout Friday, beginning with the scheduled flight of the 20ft-high ‘Trump Baby’ balloon.
London mayor Sadiq Khan was accused yesterday of ‘harming Britain’ by approving the balloon protest against Donald Trump’s visit.
The group behind the balloon have raised £17,000 through a crowdfunding website to pay for the huge balloon and take it on a 'world tour'
Mr Farage directed his criticism at London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who granted permission for the 20ft inflatable to fly above Parliament Square Garden on July 13
The former UKIP leader weighed in on the debate on Thursday saying allowing the blimp to fly for two hours during Trump's visit was 'a step too far' and was 'ridiculous'
In wake of Donald Trump's baby balloon being approved, counter protestors are raising funds for their very own inflatable.
The balloon would be of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who approved the original baby Trump balloon.
So far, the project has raised more than £15,000 with additional funds being put toward flying a pro Brexit balloon over London.
The group's Crowd Funder page says: 'Let's get a ''baby Khan'' one and see if FREE SPEECH applies to all and whether or not Mr Khan and the London assembly will approve this.
'Under Sadiq Khan, we have seen crime sky rocket to unprecedented levels.
'People in London don't feel safe and they aren't safe, 81 murders this year alone! Khan Out.'
Mr Khan has given it permission to fly over Parliament Square between 9.30 and 11.30am. The Labour mayor has also given permission for Parliament Square Garden to be used as a grounding point for the blimp.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said the mayor ‘supports the right to peaceful protest’.
But Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who will campaign to be the next mayor of London, said: ‘I think it’s desperately sad that instead of seeing this as an opportunity for London and Britain, the mayor is supporting something that will only be seen as insulting to the president of a country which is our greatest friend and ally – and a country we need to work with even more closely after leaving the EU.
‘Instead of playing politics with the visit, the mayor should have been acting with dignity. We should show respect. All the mayor is doing is harming London and harming Britain by supporting such a stunt.’
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage added: ‘This is the biggest insult to a sitting US President ever.’
Speaking on LBC, Mr Farage said: 'Let me ask you, does any of you seriously think that if an application to fly an Obama blimp, of Obama as a young, crying baby above Parliament Square when he came here during the referendum to tell us to vote remain, do you actually think that would have been allowed?
'You can't stop people from protesting, expressing their opinion, but I do think there's a never ending war of words, and it does cut both ways because the President invites a fair bit of it.
'But this never ending war of words between Sadiq Khan and Donald Trump is frankly ridiculous.'
However, some Twitter users disagreed with Mr Farage, with one remarking: 'JFK getting shot in the head is probably more insulting than a flying a balloon.'
Another added: 'Obama endured an endless bombardment of racist caricatures for eight years.'
One said: 'Think there have been bigger insults to sitting presidents....from peanuts to bullets.'
Four US Presidents have been assassinated while they were in office, including Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901 and John F. Kennedy in 1963.
However, some Twitter users disagreed, with one remarking: 'JFK getting shot in the head is probably more insulting than a flying a balloon'
A computer-generated image shows what the balloon might look like during the protest
Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt in 1981 but survived.
The Trump Baby balloon, made by Imagine Inflatables, cost £3,500 to create, with a further £1,000 set aside to fly it next week.
Many supporters of the balloon gave donations of more than £100 to the project.
A counter-protest to create a giant Sadiq Khan baby balloon had last night raised more than £24,000. The balloon protest will be followed by a march beginning at 2pm outside the BBC building in Portland Place, central London, and proceeding to Trafalgar Square, where a rally will take place.
Mr Khan and Mr Trump have engaged in a long-running war of words over issues like crime and terrorism.
The row between the pair began last June when the President accused Mr Khan of having a 'pathetic' response to the London Bridge terror attack.
He tweeted: 'At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'
Speaking about Mr Trump's visit earlier this year, Mr Khan said: 'I think there will be protests, I speak to Londoners every day of the week and I think they will use the rights they have to express their freedom of speech.
'But they must be peaceful, they must be lawful.'
Donald Trump will finally fly into the UK for his first visit as US President next week.
Mr Trump will arrive in Britain on Thursday night following a high stakes Nato summit in Brussels at which EU allies fear he could threaten the alliance.
A major row over defence spending could overshadow his visit to the UK.
Once he reaches Britain, he is expected to stay for three days for a 'working' visit.
The trip is not the full State Visit Theresa May offered last year but he is expected to meet the Queen. Because it is a working trip, he is covering his own costs - though Britain will spend millions on security.
Mr Trump and Mrs May hold hands at the White House last year
Why did Trump cancel his UK visit in February 2017?
Theresa May first invited Trump to the UK after she visited him days after his inauguration, becoming the first foreign leader to see the new President and Scotland Yard Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe let slip that Trump would be visiting in June,
In February 2017, it was revealed that Trump had decided to delay the visit amid snubs from MPs and in order to avoid protests. In addition to this, the trip was again postponed because of widespread dismay of his travel ban on citizens from Muslim-majority countries.
Trump was also due to come to the UK in February of this year to open the new US embassy, but a poll revealed that 4 percent of people, around two million, said they would join a protest if he was given a full state visit.
Is Melania coming to the UK with Trump?
It is expected that the First Lady will join her husband in the UK.
Will Trump meet the Queen?
Windsor Castle is set to be closed to the public on July 13, suggesting that this is when Trump will meet the Queen, but details have not been confirmed. Ambassador Woody Johnson told Sky: 'Yes, yes, I mean he has to see the head of state.
'Putting his foot on British soil, it's job one, it's very important, very symbolic. Meeting Her Majesty is the most important thing, because she's the head of state, and from then on, it'll be what the president wants to do.'
The Coldstream Guards, the oldest regiment in the British Army, are also rumoured to honour the Trumps on their arrival but Buckingham Palace has not confirmed the arrangements.
What will Trump discuss with Theresa May?
Trade tariffs are expected to be the most discussed topic during Trump's visit to the UK, especially after a call with the President left Theresa May branding his decision 'unjustified'.
A statement released after this phone call said: 'The prime minister raised the US decision to apply tariff to EU steel and aluminium imports, which she said was unjustified and deeply disappointing.
'The prime minister said the US, UK and EU are close national security allies and we recognise the importance of the values of open and fair trade across the world. The prime minister also underlined the need to safeguard jobs that would potentially be affected by the decision.'
May and Trump are also thought to talk about the President's border policy after the Prime Minister said that the policy was 'inhumane'. May told MPs in the Commons last week that 'when we disagree with the United States, we tell them so.'
'But we also have key shared interests. It is right that we are able to sit down and discuss those with the president - a president of a country with which we will continue to have a long-standing special relationship.'