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John Vander Luit

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Banksy withdraws offer of free 'souvenir' election piece

Banksy withdraws offer of free 'souvenir' election piece


Local police investigate after Bristol constituents offered 'gift' for not voting Tory

Graffiti artist Banksy has withdrawn his offer of a free 'souvenir' art print for people who voted against the Conservative party in the general election following a warning from the Electoral Commission that the offer would 'invalidate' the result.

The anonymous artist had offered registered voters in six Bristol constituencies a limited-edition artwork if they voted against a Tory candidate. Voters were asked to send in a photo of their ballot paper as proof in order to claim the image of a young girl with a Union flag balloon.

Accompanying the offer was a lawyer's note, which read: 'This print is a souvenir piece of campaign material. It is in no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate, has no monetary value, is for amusement purposes only and is strictly not for sale. Terms and conditions to follow, postage not included.'

However, Avon & Somerset Police investigated Banksy's offer after receiving several complaints and released the following statement: '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.'

In a statement on his website, Banksy said he 'regretted' the 'ill-conceived and legally dubious promotion' and confirmed it had been cancelled. So, just one more U-turn in this flip-floppy election campaign.