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Monday 5th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Felicity Collier

STREET artist Banksy is offering free art prints to constituents in his home city of Bristol if they vote against the Tories, it was revealed yesterday.

His website currently promises a free “UK Election Souvenir Special” of a limited edition artwork if voters send in a photo of their ballot paper from polling day showing that they voted against the Tory candidate.

The offer applies to voters from the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury, Kingswood and Filton constituencies.

The print features a variation of his famous “balloon girl” mural that was originally located on the side of a shop in east London, but instead of a plain balloon it is emblazoned with a Union Jack flag.

But the Electoral Commission, which oversees elections in Britain, said the anonymous political artist may be breaking the law.

A disclaimer on Banksy’s website says the offer is not meant to influence the choices of the electorate, but the Commission has warned that it could constitute bribery, which is an electoral offence, and that taking a photo inside a polling station may be illegal.

A Commission spokesman said: “The law in this area is complex.

“Given the risk that someone taking a photo inside a polling station may be in breach of the law, whether intentionally or not, the Commission’s advice is against taking any photos inside polling stations.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “At this time, we’ve not received any complaints regarding this.”

Currently, only Bristol West is held by Labour and is represented by Thangam Debbonaire.

North Somerset is considered a safe Tory seat which is held by often-ridiculed toff Jacob Rees-Mogg who has a record of voting against equal marriage and human rights.