Katie Hopkins effigy to be burned at Kent bonfire

Artist Frank Shepherd puts the final touches to his Katie Hopkins effigy. Picture: PA
Artist Frank Shepherd puts the final touches to his Katie Hopkins effigy. Picture: PA
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A 30-FOOT-tall effigy of outspoken TV personality and ex-Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins will be burned at a town’s annual bonfire celebrations in Kent this weekend.

A steel-framed model of Ms Hopkins, who has drawn criticism for her views on subjects ranging from obese youngsters to children’s names, will go up in flames in Edenbridge.

The figure, with the words “Speak before you think” written on the front, will be stuffed with oil-soaked newspapers, packed with fireworks and torched on Saturday.

Bonfire society members said it was easy to choose Ms Hopkins, who provoked a backlash after linking children’s names to their social status earlier this year.

Society co-ordinator Charles Laver said: “We were looking for someone who was in the news, and she was one of the people around in the media at the moment.

“Of course, she has come out with silly remarks, so we thought why not? On Tuesday last week, we were sitting around thinking who were we going to do.

“We had to come up with someone, so we thought about Katie.”

Last year, an effigy of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong wearing a Jim’ll Fix It badge in reference to shamed TV presenter Jimmy Savile was torched.

Other well-known figures who have had the dubious honour of being the celebrity guy at Edenbridge’s celebrations in past years include Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Gordon Brown and Russell Brand.

This weekend’s event will start on a sombre note as a silence will be held for tragic 17-year-old Bethany Freeman ahead of the firework display.

Bethany was killed this week when a 30ft tree toppled on her caravan in nearby Hever while she slept as storms raged through southern Britain.