A councillor in Wales has resigned from his role following rumours that he is Banksy.
58-year-old William Gannon became a councillor in the Pembrokeshire town of Pembroke Dock after a four-decade career as a local artist.
Once he took the seat, however, Gannon said that rumours began circling that he was the notorious and anonymous Bristol-based street artist Banksy – rumours Gannon believes were started by a rival councillor. He has now added an ‘I Am Not Banksy’ section to his official website.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Gannon discussed how he believes the rumours had made his position on the council “untenable” and therefore had to step down.
“There’s no truth in it whatsoever, I am not Banksy,” he said. “I was in much the same places as Banksy at much the same times doing much the same stuff as a community artist and a lot of the information crosses over.
“It’s so ridiculous that it’s laugh-out-loud funny, but there’s also a sinister element to it. The joke is on me.”
In his letter of resignation (via The Telegraph), he said: “It was felt that, to protect the reputation of the town, Pembroke Dock did not need another controversial councillor dragging the reputation of the town through the mud.
“As a result of all this, my position became untenable and after some consideration I sent my resignation notice to the town clerk.”
The most significant rumour around the identity of Banksy concerns Bristol duo Massive Attack. NME reviewed all the evidence back in 2016, and a pair of Banksy prints sold as part of a charity auction from the band last year raised over £140,000 for charity, a world record sum for the artists’ prints.
Earlier this year, a miniature Banksy model sold for £1million at auction. The model, which is of a tiny thatched building and has the words “Go Big or Go Home” written on it, first appeared at a model village in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as part of his Great British Spraycation event last year.