Lily Cole condemns Trump travel ban at event supporting Oscars boycott director

Actress Lily Cole has said Donald Trump’s travel ban is “unnecessary in this day and age” because cities like London are “wonderfully open”, and warned we may yet see “more ludicrous policies”.

The model made the comments as she was addressing a large crowd gathered in the capital’s Trafalgar Square for the UK premiere of The Salesman, which is up for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

Asghar Farhadi, the drama’s Iranian director who won an Academy Award in 2012, is boycotting the star-studded event in California over Mr Trump’s travel ban, which bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering America.

Asghar Farhadi (Ian West/PA)

His latest work was being shown in the public space in solidarity with his stance, at an event hosted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and backed by actors including Keira Knightley and Dominic West.

In a speech to the large crowd of people who had packed out the area in front of the National Gallery, Lily said what makes the screening and premiere special is that it is a “positive version of protest”.

“We are here to say what alternatives are possible, we are here to demonstrate that alternatives are possible and why things like the Trump ban are unnecessary in this day and age, because London is wonderfully open,” she added.

Lily Cole (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“I hope you remember the pretext that brought us here, because we may see more ludicrous policies coming out, we may see more attempts to discriminate against millions of people based purely on their race and where they were born.

“And what we all need to be here today to remember and keep saying is, ‘no, that’s not acceptable’ and an alternative is possible.”

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