Bristol

Banksy election print-for-vote offer investigated by police

Banksy's website Image copyright Banksy
Image caption Banksy's website offer has prompted a police investigation

An offer of a free Banksy print to people who vote against the Conservatives is being investigated by police.

Avon and Somerset Police has received a number of complaints over the secretive street artist's offer.

Applicants from six Bristol constituencies have to send him a ballot paper photo showing a vote against the Tories to get the print.

Police said anyone taking part in the offer could also be prosecuted.

A police spokesman said: "We've received a number of complaints about an offer of a free Banksy print to people living in six Bristol constituencies in exchange for them voting in a certain way in the forthcoming election and we can confirm we're investigating the offer.

"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."

'Souvenir piece'

The offer has been made to voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury, Kingswood and Filton constituencies in and around Banksy's home city.

The artist wrote on his website: "Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from polling day showing you voted against the Conservative candidate and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you."

The artwork, which he has also put on his Instagram page, reprises his well-known "girl with a balloon" motif, but with a Union Jack in the balloon.

It will be released on 9 June, Banksy said on his website.

A disclaimer states the print was "a souvenir piece" which was not in any way intended to influence voters but was for "amusement purposes only".

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