Banksy claps back at home secretary's comments about 'vile' Glastonbury stunt

Banksy claps back at home secretary's comments about 'vile' Glastonbury stunt

Related video: Home secretary James Cleverly calls Banksy Glastonbury stunt ‘unacceptable’

Sky News

The mysterious Bristolian artist known as Banksy has clapped back at James Cleverly, the home secretary, after the Tory cabinet minister branded his latest artwork at Glastonbury – a raft containing migrant ‘dummies’ wearing lifejackets – as “vile” and “unacceptable”.

The stunt surfaced during the Friday set by rock band Idles, as the group performed their track “Danny Nedelko” which opens with the lyrics “my blood brother is an immigrant / a beautiful immigrant”.

It’s been reported that the band were unaware of the artist’s stunt at the Other Stage until they had finished their headline performance.

Banksy himself confirmed he was responsible for releasing the boat on his social media channels on Sunday.

However, speaking to Sky News on Monday, Cleverly said: “People die in the Mediterranean, they die on the Channel. This is not funny; it is vile. This is a celebration of the loss of life in the channel.

“Something like that, I think, is deeply distasteful. Children die in the Channel because of the actions of these vile criminals, and joking about it and celebrating, I think it is completely vile.”

Now Banksy’s clapped back at Cleverly’s criticism, sharing a statement on social media on Wednesday in which he wrote: “The home secretary called my Glastonbury boat ‘vile and unacceptable’ which seems a bit over the top.

“The real boat I fund, the MV Louise Michel rescued 17 unaccompanied children from the central Med [Mediterranean] on Monday night. As punishment the Italian authorities have detained it – which seems vile and unacceptable to me.”

According to its official website, the MV Louise Michel is a “high-speed lifeboat” which “patrols the Mediterranean”, bought with proceeds from sales of Banksy’s artwork.

In a statement on its own Instagram page – also issued on Wednesday - the lifeboat crew wrote that the vessel has been “detained for 20 days in the port of Lampedusa”, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

It reads: “After one day at sea and the rescue of 37 people, our crew was ordered to disembark all survivors to Pozzallo, Sicily.

“As the weather on the route was predicted to be too bad for a safe journey, our crew decided to seek shelter close to Lampedusa where, during the night, we then got permission to disembark all survivors.

“Later yesterday, we were informed that the ship is now detained for not following the order to disembark in Sicily.”

The crew also accused the European Union of “deliberately restricting civil sea rescue”.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)