'Who are Leeds Residents Against Graffiti?' - The 'Burley Banksy' row explained

A group called 'Leeds Residents Against Graffiti' covered 14 of the Burley Banksy's Leeds United murals over the weekend.

By Daniel Sheridan
Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:06 am
The group claimed to have covered up a Gary Speed tribute piece.
The group claimed to have covered up a Gary Speed tribute piece.

Leeds United fans have thrown their support behind the graffiti artist known as the ‘Burley Banksy’ after 14 pieces of his work were covered up by anti-graffiti vandals.

A prominent tribute to Leeds United legend Gary Speed was covered up with black paint on Sunday, what would have been his 50th birthday.

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Another of Andy's works.

Andy McVeigh, 49, has spent the past year coming up with designs to paint over graffiti across Leeds or to brighten up dull electrical boxes and bollards.

An anonymous group calling itself Leeds Residents Against Graffiti has claimed responsibility for painting over his designs and has vowed to continue covering up Andy’s work.

Leeds Residents Against Graffiti have vowed to cover every Leeds United piece he has painted.

In a series of emails sent to the Yorkshire Evening Post, they said they wanted an end to the 'graffiti'.

However, who do they claim to be and what are their reasons behind covering up Andy McVeigh's work?

How many people are part of the group?

The group say they consist of four members - one van driver and three with brushes.

Who do the group say they represent?

The group say they "represent the 90% of the citizens of Leeds who are not obsessed with Leeds United, and do not need to see public areas painted with these mindless slogans".

They added: "This looks much more dignified than the childish scrawl of a man who should be old enough to know better."

When did the group first cover up a piece of work?

The group claim to have covered two of Andy's pieces on August 6th in red paint.

They said: "We had a trial run using red hammerite on two boxes which had been covered by graffiti.

"The vandal then decided to repaint them, which was a foolish decision."

What do the group say about their actions?

The group said: "This “artist”, (who is clearly not of the ability or wit of Bansky himself) should be old enough and responsible enough not to indulge in his childish obsession.

"His actions are no better than those of the “taggers” that he claims to dislike.

"It amuses us to read the slurs about “insecurities and issues” that this person accuses us of. We are not the ones with an obsession to paint graffiti on public property."

Do the group believe they are acting lawfully?

The group say they are committing no laws or crime in their act.

They say they "have simply covered up unauthorised graffiti".

Do the group oppose Leeds United specifically?

The group said they have "no interest in soccer and have nothing against Leeds United or their fans (except disinterest)".

They added: "The assumption of a Manchester connection is hilarious. We just used the first paint to hand; next time we may use black, purple, orange, grey etc. Red is of no significance to us."

Have the group vowed to continue?

The group said they will cover up all future Leeds United murals by Andy McVeigh.

They said: "Let's have an end to this graffiti.