Banksy has disguised himself as a Tube cleaner to graffiti a bustling train as it went through central London in a piece named: ‘If you don’t mask – you don’t get’, it was revealed today.
The guerrilla artist, dressed in a high-vis jacket, boiler suit, goggles and face mask, paints a black rat coughing and sneezing green paint across the carriage’s window and walls to encourage people to cover their faces in public.
Using the same pressure sprayer used by London Underground staff to disinfectant trains, Banksy then tags the door leading to the driver’s cab and paints other rats using face masks as parachutes or shooting antibacterial hand gel.
Banksy is filmed entering a Tube station and getting on a train with his paint and stencils. At one point he ushers commuters away as he spray-paints the train as it travelled between Baker Street and Euston in broad daylight.
Fans have hailed his work, calling it ‘powerful’ and ‘crucial’, but critics were shocked that he was able to graffiti a train while posing as a Tube worker completely unhindered before walking off and out of the station minutes later. It also appears he was able to graffiti a wall on a platform with nobody noticing.
His latest work makes it clear that he believes anyone not wearing a mask is risking the spread of coronavirus in a film that ends with the message: ‘I get locked down – but I get up again’ – a play on words on the Chumbawamba hit that plays at the end.
The star, who released a video of him spraypainting the train on Instagram this afternoon, has never identified himself but he is believed to be former public schoolboy Robin Gunningham, from Bristol.
This sneezing and coughing rat is at the centre of a new Banksy artwork on the Tube, carried out as the train passed through central London
The artwork was filmed being made and at one point Banksy ushers away a commuter from the part of the carriage he wants to paint
The piece, named ‘If you don’t mask – you don’t get’, is encouraging Britons to wear masks to halt the spread of Covid-19
He even tags the door leading to the Tube driver’s door as people in the train watched him do it in broad daylight
It ends with the message: ‘I get locked down – but I get up again’ – a play on words on the Chumbawamba hit
The release of the artwork today is significant because it came on the say Boris Johnson revealed that face masks will be compulsory in confined spaces such as shops and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan admitted one in ten on the Tube are still not wearing masks and only around 50 people have been fined.
The Tube artwork came weeks after Banksy showed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying ‘people of colour are being failed by the system’.
His comment came after week of protests sparked by the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the US.
The graffiti artist, who rose to fame for his provocative street art, shared a painting of a vigil candle burning an American flag along with his message.
He wrote: ‘At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue.
‘But why would I do that? It’s not their problem, it’s mine.’
He continued: ‘People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system.
‘Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
‘This is a white problem. And if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.’
Banksy has shown his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying ‘people of colour are being failed by the system’. He shared a painting of a vigil candle burning an American flag along with his message
Who is Banksy? Experts believe guerilla artist is middle-class boy from Bristol or could even a group led by Massive Attack star 3D
Insiders in the art world have previously claimed there is compelling evidence suggesting that the artist is former public schoolboy Robin Gunningham, from Bristol, who is believed to be in his early forties.
In March scientists at Queen Mary University of London backed a Mail on Sunday identifying Mr Gunningham as ‘the only serious suspect’.
They used ‘geographic profiling’, a technique more often used to catch criminals or track outbreaks of disease, by plotting the locations of 192 of Banksy’s presumed artworks. But there have always been doubts.
Is this him? The only clue until now has been a photograph taken in Jamaica 11 years ago of a man with a bag of spray cans and a stencil by his feet, who people say is Robin Gunningham
Others have claimed Banksy is older, having been inspired by French artist Blek le Rat, who began working in 1981, which could make him at least ten years older.
The only clue until now has been a photograph taken in Jamaica 11 years ago of a man with a bag of spray cans and a stencil by his feet, who people say is Gunningham.
Banksy has admitted he disguises himself when in public and claims it is much easier and quicker to install works himself.
Appearances in public, or on film, have also been in disguise or with his face covered. Banksy says he must remain anonymous because of the often illegal nature of his art.
Robin Gunningham, who is thought to be in his late 30s or early 40s, remains the man most believed to be Banksy, although only a handful of the artist’s friends know his true identity.
He was educated at the £9,240-a-year Bristol Cathedral School, which shocked some of the artist’s fans who were fond of their hero’s ‘anti-establishment’ stance.
Is it him? Massive Attack star Robert Del Naja, pictured arriving at Banksy’s Dismaland in Weston-Super-Mare, has also been accused of being the guerrilla graffiti star
Banksy has become renowned for his use of stencils to spray illegal images on public walls. Some councils and businesses have begun to protect his creations and his works have been sold to celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Rumours have persisted that the artist is called Robin Banks, that he is from Bristol, and that his parents think he is a painter and decorator.
Gunningham’s former school friend Scott Nurse said in 2011: ‘He was one of three people in my year who were extremely talented at art. I am not at all surprised if he is Banksy.’
Records reveal Gunningham once lived with artist Luke Egan, who later exhibited with Banksy. Mr Egan initially denied knowing Gunningham but later admitted he had lived with him.
Around 2000, when Banksy moved to London, Gunningham relocated to a flat in Hackney. A number of Banksy’s most famous works have appeared nearby. At that time Gunningham lived with Jamie Eastman, who worked for the Hombre record label – which has used illustrations by Banksy.
Mr Gunningham’s own parents have denied the artist was their son, although when his mother Pamela was shown the picture by the Mail on Sunday four years ago she initially denied she even had a son, let alone one called Robin, according to the paper.
But in 2016 a member of Massive Attack was named as the artist.
Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, the founding member of the Bristol band, has been accused of being the guerrilla graffiti star because art keeps appearing near their gigs.
Investigative journalist Craig Williams, 31, claims the artist could be Mr Del Naja, or perhaps a team of people led by him and linked to Massive Attack who combine their concerts with graffiti.
Mr Williams has plotted Banksy murals around the world and said that on at least six occasions more than a dozen appeared shortly before or after Massive Attack gigs in the same cities over the past 12 years.
3D was a graffiti artist in the 1980s and has admitted he is friends with Banksy – but the journalist’s new research concludes he may be the artist himself. His band, famous for songs Tear Drop and Unfinished Sympathy, has made millions while Banksy’s art sells for at least £500,000 a piece.
Mr Williams said it has been the common conception was that the artist was ‘plain old public school boy Robin Gunningham’. He said: ‘But what if Banksy isn’t the one person everyone thinks he is. What if Banksy is a group of people who have stencilling different locations both at home and abroad? Such a rich body of work done over a decade, across the globe, may allow for the suggestion.
‘A rumour exists from 2010 that his work that went up around North America was his work but were not necessarily painted by him, but rather by a street team that happened to be following the Massive Attack tour. And on analysis of his North American work, this makes perfect sense.’
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New coronavirus curbs ‘would cost £250m A DAY’: Economy could shrink by 5%, experts warn
Partial lockdowns which discourage eating out and a return by workers to the office could shrink the economy by up to 5 per cent, a think-tank warned yesterday.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research calculated the bill for major restrictions covering sectors such as hospitality at up to £250million a day.
This would mean that national output would shrink by between 3 per cent and 5 per cent over the last three months of 2020 compared to between July and September.
The £250million bill would be a tenth of the impact of full lockdown at its peak in April.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research warned partial lockdowns discouraging eating out (above, The Old Stables Restaurant in Liverpool) could shrink economy by up to 5%
The Centre for Economics and Business Research warned that the UK could suffer if partial lockdowns lead to the public losing faith in the Government’s handling of the Covid crisis
But the CEBR has cautioned that the UK could suffer even more if partial lockdowns cause the public to lose faith in the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
Douglas McWilliams, of the CEBR, said: ‘The bigger cost is the unmeasurable cost – many people feel that progress [so far] going into reverse would knock the stuffing out of consumer and business confidence.
‘Whereas the first lockdown was bearable on the assumption that it was temporary, a second lockdown will make many people lose confidence in a recovery in the foreseeable future.’
He added that the end of the furlough scheme – which sees the Government pay part of workers’ salaries – on October 31 could also prompt swathes of job losses as ‘tens of thousands of businesses are hanging on by a thread and likely to run out of cash’.
He insisted: ‘Many people are being kept on not because of their current productivity but so that they will be available when business picks up.
‘If people start to lose hope in the economy recovering in the foreseeable future, the knock-on effect could well be a multiple of anything that could emerge from an economics calculation.’
Yesterday, it was reported 1,000 of leisure group Butlin’s (above, company safety video) 6,000 staff were at risk of losing their jobs, but bosses stressed a decision has not yet been made
It comes amid a growing backlash at suggestions the Government will impose a 10pm curfew on the hospitality sector to curb the rising Covid-19 infection rate.
… while UK ‘takes £11bn hit’ from slump in US air travel
The lack of a quarantine-free travel corridor to the US will cost the UK economy £11billion this year, a report reveals today.
Aviation bosses say the failure to reopen trans-Atlantic routes is having a devastating impact, with the hit to UK PLC at £32million a day.
It is also set to cost £45.8billion in lost trade with the US, according to the research by Airlines UK, British Airways owner IAG and aviation services firm Collinson.
Almost 20 per cent of British exports go to the US and in 2018 these were worth £121billion. There are normally four million US visitors every year. They spent a total of £3.8billion during 2019 but that is expected to fall by £3.1billion by the end of the year, the report said.
London to New York is the world’s most profitable air link and a vital route for BA and Virgin Atlantic.
But the US is on the Government’s ‘red’ list of countries from which arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: ‘This is a stark warning that action is needed immediately to safely open up connections with our key trading partners in the US.’
Stephen Sullivan, of Ziggy’s bar in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, where a new local lockdown has been introduced, said imposing a 10pm curfew has already had a dramatic impact on his customers, who normally arrive between 10pm and 2am.
He told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend the current situation was ‘incredibly difficult’, adding: ‘We are somewhere between 60 and 70 per cent down on previous weekends. One of my friends had 5 per cent of their normal custom and they’ve taken the decision already to close and remain closed until such time we are back to normal.’
Asked about what would happen if there was a national lockdown, he said: ‘Without financial help, it would be impossible. It would be the end of the road for me.’
There are growing fears of a jobs bloodbath when the furlough scheme ends.
Yesterday, it was reported 1,000 of leisure group Butlin’s 6,000 staff were at risk of losing their jobs, but bosses stressed a decision has not yet been made.
Meanwhile, figures collected by think-tank Centre for Cities showed that local lockdowns put the brake on recoveries.
Economists told The Sunday Telegraph that there was now a ‘significant risk’ of a W-shaped recovery – or double-dip recession.
It came after analysis indicated economic activity in certain cities was dampened by new restrictions to tackle outbreaks.
In some areas, the reimposing of restrictions has stalled or even reversed many recoveries as more companies roll back reopenings.
In Manchester, footfall of shoppers has stalled at half of pre-virus levels in the last month.
The coronavirus restrictions in Leicester caused spending to drop back down to a fifth of normal levels after a brief recovery in the weeks following the end of national lockdown.
In Aberdeen, the bounce-back in footfall faltered after new measures were introduced. The figures there fell from 75 per cent of normal levels to below 50 per cent.
By Eleanor Hayward Health Reporter for the Daily Mail
Experts say the current daily coronavirus death toll is not grounds for a new national lockdown.
The number of deaths from the virus each day remains very far below the peak in April – and also much lower than fatalities from other causes.
Over the last seven days, there have been an average of 21 coronavirus deaths per day.
The current daily coronavirus death toll is on a par with suicide – which claims an average of 18 lives a day, figures from Cancer Research UK and the Office for National Statistics show
This compares to figures above 1,000 on certain days in April when the infection was at its peak in Britain.
And official figures show that Covid-19 is responsible for a tiny fraction of the daily deaths in Britain.
Last year, there were approximately an average of 450 deaths a day from cancer, 214 from dementia and 174 from heart disease.
These figures, from Cancer Research UK and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), would be broadly similar at present.
The current daily coronavirus death toll is more on a par with suicide – which claims an average of 18 lives a day, ONS data shows.
And despite new restrictions being imposed by ministers in various parts of Britain, the country’s official coronavirus ‘alert level’ has not changed since June.
On June 19, the level was downgraded from four to three – on a five-level scale – so restrictions could be ‘gradually relaxed’.
Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the country was still at level 3 –which means transmission of Covid-19 was not deemed ‘high or rising exponentially’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the country was still at level 3 but added new restrictions are being brought in because the ‘number of cases is shooting up’
But he added: ‘We’re bringing in new restrictions because the number of cases is shooting up.’
And a leading health expert said it was ‘too early’ for a second lockdown.
Professor Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University’s centre for evidence-based medicine, said the country ‘can’t afford to go now with harsh measures’.
He told Sky News that Covid-19 was operating in a seasonal way similar to other respiratory infections, saying: ‘If we go now it’s too early. As it gets colder, as we’re inside more, there will be more coughs and colds.
‘If you’re looking at a break and when we need it, we need it in the mid-winter when we might run into problems.
‘There’s no evidence right now of what’s called a second wave.’
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Five teenagers arrested after 19-year-old woman was raped in Portsmouth
Five teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of the rape of a 19-year-old woman in a late-night attack.
The incident happened as the woman walked in Lake Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, at about 1am on Sunday.
A Hampshire Police spokesman appealed for witnesses, saying that the woman had been approached by two men, neither of whom were known to her.
The attack happened as the woman walked along Lake Road in Portsmouth, pictured, at 1am
Detective Inspector Emma Crute said: ‘This has been a very distressing incident for the victim and I want to urge anyone who may be able to assist our inquiries to get in contact with us as soon as possible.’
The spokesman added that the victim was being supported by specialist officers.
Police have arrested three 18-year-old men, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, all from Portsmouth, on suspicion of rape and they all remain in custody for questioning.
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Mother who says toxic air killed her daughter fears measures will make pollution WORSE
A mother who says her daughter was killed by lethal levels of air pollution has called on the Transport Secretary to ban eco-obsessed councils from closing roads.
Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter Ella suffered a fatal asthma attack thought to have been triggered by illegal levels of pollution, says ‘green’ schemes designed to reduce pollution should be scrapped.
Mrs Kissi-Debrah lives near one of 114 ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ (LTNs) in London where road blocks are set up to stop residential streets being used as rat runs. But motoring groups say LTNs and other green schemes cause serious congestion as drivers are bottlenecked on main roads.
They are furious at ministers for allowing councils to exploit powers introduced as a result of the pandemic to rush through anti-car policies, funded by the taxpayer to the tune of £250million.
Rosamund Kissi-Debrah (pictured) said: ‘This scheme is not improving air quality – it is making it worse. The low-traffic area in Lewisham has quadrupled traffic on the South Circular road’
Mrs Kissi-Debrah lives 80ft from one of the country’s busiest roads – the A205 South Circular in Lewisham, south-east London – and says traffic levels have ‘quadrupled’ since an LTN zone was set up ten weeks ago.
The mother of two said: ‘This scheme is not improving air quality – it is making it worse. The low-traffic area in Lewisham has quadrupled traffic on the South Circular road. The air is now intolerable and the area smells like a petrol station.
‘I want to know whether this was really what [Transport Secretary] Grant Shapps intended.
‘Some people rely on their cars to get around and there are people who don’t want to use public transport because of the health risk. You cannot close roads and expect the traffic to evaporate.
‘I am not against low-traffic schemes and I am not anti-cyclist. But I am against poorly-thought out policies that worsen pollution and harm our children’s health.’
Mrs Kissi-Debrah’s nine-year-old daughter died in 2013 after three years of seizures and 27 hospital visits. After reading of Ella’s death, Professor Stephen Holgate of Southampton University found pollution levels at a local monitoring station consistently broke EU limits for three years before.
In December last year, the family won a High Court battle for an inquest later this year to determine whether air pollution caused the child’s death.
Mrs Kissi-Debrah’s intervention comes amid growing anger at Covid-related road closures.
Ella, nine, (pictured) suffered a fatal asthma attack thought to have been triggered by illegal levels of pollution
LTNs have been blamed for a 153 per cent surge in congestion in outer London, where roads have been closed to reduce pollution and promote walking and cycling. Wandsworth Council in south-west London recently scrapped an LTN scheme after residents complained about pollution.
Bromley Council in south London has started legal action over road closures in neighbouring Croydon, claiming they have worsened traffic.
Other schemes – such as widened cycle lanes, pedestrianised streets and 20mph speed limit areas – have brought gridlock to towns and cities across Britain.
The morning rush hour has returned due to the reopening of schools, figures show.
The number of cars on the road between 8am and 9am is back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the RAC. It is up 55 per cent compared with the week of August 24, before most schools reopened.
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