TfL orders fake ‘Barbie’ posters attacking Sunak and Braverman to be taken down

The posters use offensive language to attack senior ministers and the government’s Illegal Migration Bill, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

A poster for the Barbie movie and (inset) Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman
A poster for the Barbie movie and (inset) Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman

Transport bosses have ordered the removal of a set of “offensive” Barbie-themed posters from several London bus stops – which cast senior Conservative ministers and MPs as characters in the film.

The images, all of which use strong language, are thought to have been placed behind the glass advertising panels on the sides of the bus stops by anti-government protesters.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said: “These offensive adverts are not authorised by TfL or our advertising partner JCDecaux.

“We have instructed our contractors to remove any of these posters found on our network immediately.”

The organisation said it would investigate how the posters’ creators were able to open the glass panels without breaking them, as no damage was caused to the bus stops.

The posters depict and mock Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Minister for Immigration Robert Jenrick, the Conservative Party’s deputy chair Lee Anderson, North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and Witham MP Priti Patel.

The images use derogatory language and insults to describe the MPs, with a particular focus on the party’s approach to immigration policy.

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Pictures of the posters were uploaded to Twitter by the campaign group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants. The group, who posted the Twitter thread on the same day that Barbie was released in cinemas, wrote: “This week not only marks the cinematic event of the summer, but the Illegal Immigration Bill also passed a few days ago and it looks as though someone has been doing some alternative promo.”

They added: “This government’s treatment of migrants and asylum seekers is an outrage that violates human rights and fails to protect those fleeing from persecution and conflict. It will make life even more dangerous for people on the move.”

The government has said the Illegal Migration Bill is intended “to make it unambiguously clear that, if you enter the UK illegally, you should not be able to remain here. Instead, you will be detained and promptly removed either to your home country or to a safe country where any asylum claim will be considered”.

It has said that UK asylum system is “broken” and costs the UK some £3billion a year.

The Home Office has said: “We cannot continue, year on year, with this inexorable rise in the number of illegal arrivals adding unacceptable pressures on our health, housing, educational and welfare services.”

It is not known how many of the posters were printed and posted across the capital, or what locations were used, but one of the images featuring Braverman was spotted at the southbound Priory Park bus stop, on Lee Road in Blackheath.

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