‘Just to be absolutely clear, I’m not Banksy’: Seaside councilman, 49, quits after making fake claims he’s a shadowy street painter as he says undermines his ability to do his job
- Chancellor William Gannon has resigned due to rumors that he is Banksy
- Mr. Gannon has worked as a community artist for 40 years, creating similar work
- He was in the position for a few months before he resigned because rumors affected his job
A council member in a small rural town has been forced to resign due to widespread allegations that he is a street artist, Banksy.
Consultant William Gannon, better known as Billy, has been a community artist for 40 years and has been working in the same locations and doing similar work for the celebrity.
He was first elected to serve Pembroke Dock City Council’s Bufferland Ward community in 2018, and again in a recent election.
But his stint in public life ended amid allegations of harassment after speculation spiraled out of control.
Mr. Gannon is now walking around with an “I’m not Banksy” badge on his chest to try to distance himself from this claim.
Mr. Gannon started the “I’m Not Banksy” campaign after the rumors started
Rumors circulated on social media accounts claiming that Banksy would attend the events that the then chancellor attended.
Mr Gannon wrote in his resignation letter: ‘As you know, there is a claim over and over again that I am not who I say I am but the artist Banksy.
This claim undermines my ability to properly do the work of counselor and council representative.
“Therefore, I have decided to resign from my position as a city council member and council representative in the port with immediate effect.”
Mr Gannon vehemently denies that he has nothing to do with the Bristol-based street artist and is now walking around with an “I’m not Banksy” badge on his chest to try to distance himself from the claim.
Speaking after his resignation letter was published, he said: ‘The story began that I was Banksy. I’m not Banksy and I have a badge to prove it.
Mr. Gannon is a community artist and sculptor. He said that in the past he used to do the same thing as Banksy in the same areas and cities at the same time
“If I were Banksy, everyone would be Banksy,” said community artist Mr. Gannon. Pictured is Banksy working from Port Talbot, more than 60 miles from the ward that Mr. Gannon was representing.
Mr Gannon immediately resigned and said the allegations “undermine” his ability to operate. Then share this on social media (pictured)
I’ve been a community artist for over 40 years now and in the past I’ve been doing the same thing as Banksy in the same areas and cities at the same time.
That doesn’t make me Banksy. There were thousands of us in it. If I were Banksy, everyone would be Banksy.
Anyway, I was a consultant at Pembroke Dock. Beautiful city full of wonderful people who have had some controversial councilors over the years.
When this ridiculous story surfaced, I felt that the council really didn’t need another controversial councilman, so I did the decent thing and retired.
The idea was to keep the lid on him, and hopefully, the allegation will go away. It did not. My phone has been ringing nonstop ever since.
He said the allegations were started by a former councilman who was running against him, but are widely believed and have appeared in many public functions.
Emails have also been sent to Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembroke Dock City Council urging officials: ‘Ask him to prove his identity. He will not be able to.
He added: “After a number of discussions with various people, it has been made clear to me that there are an increasing number of people who believe the allegations against me.
Mr. Gannon has worked as a community artist for 40 years and used to work in the same locations and do work similar to the iconic character.
It was felt that in order to protect the city’s reputation, Pembroke Dock didn’t need another controversial councilman to drag the city’s reputation through the mud.
“As a result of all this, my position became unacceptable and after some consideration I sent my notice of resignation to the city clerk.”
While the Pembroke Dock has never had Banksy before, one showed up in a garage in Port Talbot, about 70 miles away, in 2018 before being removed earlier this year.
Other townspeople also claimed his real name was Robin Gunningham, who was previously rumored to be Banksy.
Mr. Gannon, as a community artist, said he has now started a campaign to distance himself from all false rumours.
“This is an attempt to show how absurd the claims that I am Banksy are,” he added.
Mr. Gannon is now preparing to return to his art by distributing badges in his hometown that read: “I am not Banksy.”