Days after Banksy promised Labour voters a limited edition print of his world-famous artwork, the enigmatic artist has been forced to backtrack.
The Bristolian graffiti artist recently shared a cheeky call to arms among his fellow South West constituents in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury and Yate, Kingswood, and Filton and Bradley Stoke regions in the lead up to Thursday’s general election.
Banksy promised anyone who voted against the ‘Conservative incumbent’ a special edition rework of his most famous piece, depicting a girl losing her grip on a heart-shaped balloon.
The politically active commentator had re-designed the famous mural, injecting the Union Jack into the usually monochromatic balloon.
However, Bansky today has withdrawn the offer amid accusations of illegal influencing of voters from the Electoral Commission, in a fashion, ironically, more embarrassing than Theresa May’s U-turn on calling a general election before 2020.
After Banksy’s offer was publicised, Police issued the artist a warning on Monday, stating:
It is a criminal offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983 for any voter to accept or agree to accept a gift or similar in return for voting or refraining from voting.
Any person participating in an offer to receive a gift is at risk of being prosecuted.
It is also illegal, under the Representation of the People Act to ‘induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted’.
Ignoring the bitter irony that the Representation of the People Act only refers to men, clearly Banksy would have fallen foul of the law in verifying who voters chose.
Apparently not even underground graffiti artists are free from the law.