A giant inflatable “Trump baby” will not be allowed to fly over the US president’s Turnberry golf course when he visits over the weekend, Police Scotland have said.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said the move had been ruled out due to airspace restrictions in the area, but discussions are taking place about where the balloon can be flown instead.
Campaigners plan to transport the 20ft high caricature blimp north of the border after flying it over central London as Donald Trump begins his visit to the UK.
They had hoped to fly it over the South Ayrshire golf resort on Saturday to coincide with the president’s visit there.
Mr Williams said: “Clearly there is a significant protection operation in place for the president and this includes restrictions to the airspace in the Turnberry area.
“We need to ensure there is a balance between protection and public safety and the public’s right to peacefully protest.
“With that in mind and on this occasion we are unable to grant permission for the balloon to fly in that area, however we are in discussion with the applicants about possible alternatives.”
The balloon, which depicts the American leader as an angry infant wearing a nappy and clutching a mobile phone, is intended to be a symbol for all those campaigning against Mr Trump’s controversial policies.
Matthew Butcher, an anti-Trump campaigner and one of the “babysitters” of the balloon, said: “I think that the thing that the Trump balloon does is that it brings an element of fun to the protests, but it also gets under Donald Trump’s very thin skin.”
He said the stunt aims to “hold up a mirror” to Mr Trump’s “toddler-like politics”.
Its appearance in central London was approved by the Greater London Authority.
Around 9,000 people signed a petition urging authorities in Scotland to grant the same permission for Turnberry.
Organisers said they will transport the balloon to Scotland overnight, and will now fly it elsewhere on Saturday.
Various protests are planned to coincide with the president’s visit to Scotland, including a national demonstration and “carnival of resistance” in Edinburgh.