William Gannon won the race to serve the people of Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, a rural area in southwest Wales, at the local elections earlier this month.
Mr Gannon, known as “Bill”, has worked as a community artist for 40 years and used to operate in the same locations and do similar work to Banksy, whose iconic work can be found in several cities across the UK.
But he ended his short spell in public life amid claims he was subjected to harassment after rumours began to escalate.
In his resignation letter, Mr Gannon wrote: “As you may be aware an allegation has been repeatedly made that I am not who I say I am but that I am the artist Banksy.
“This allegation is undermining my ability to do the work of councillor and council rep properly.
“Therefore, I have decided to step down as both town councillor and council rep to the port with immediate effect.”
Mr Gannon vehemently denies he is anything to do with the iconic Bristol-based street artist and now even walks around with an ‘I’m not Banksy’ badge on his chest to try and distance himself.
Speaking after his resignation letter was published, he said: “The story was started up that I am Banksy. I am NOT Banksy and I have got a badge to prove it.
“I have been a community artist for over 40 years now and in the past was doing much the same as Banksy in the same areas and cities at the same time.
“That does not make me Banksy. There were thousands of us at it. If I am Banksy then everyone is Banksy.
“Anyway I was a councillor in Pembroke Dock. A lovely town full of lovely people who have had some controversial councillors over the years.
“When this ridiculous story surfaced it was felt that the council did not really need another controversial councillor so I did the decent thing and stood down.
“The idea was to keep a lid on it and hopefully the allegation would go away. It hasn’t. My phone has been ringing non stop ever since.”
He said the claims were started by a former councillor he was running against but were widely believed and featured in multiple public posts.
He added: “Following a number of discussions with various people it has been made clear to me that there are a growing number of people who believe the allegations made against me.
“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.”
While Pembroke Dock has never had a Banksy of its own, one did appear on a garage in Port Talbot, about 70 miles away, in 2018 before it was removed earlier this year.
Other residents in the town also alleged his real name was Robin Gunningham, who has previously been rumoured to be Banksy.
Mr Gannon said as a community artist he was now beginning a campaign to distance himself from all the false rumours.
He added: “This is an attempt to illustrate how ridiculous the claims that I am Banksy are.”
Source Link Councillor resigns claiming repeated rumours he is Banksy are ‘undermining his work’