By Nick Ware

25th Jun, 2021 | 1:30pm

BT respond to Leeds United-mad street artist after Whites issue club defence

BT have responded to controversy they created after the telecommunications company threatened to paint over Andy McVeigh’s Leeds United street art.

Andy McVeigh, affectionately known as the Burley Banksy, is the well-known street artist who has paid tribute to the NHS workers and Whites heroes like Marcelo Bielsa in various pieces of artworks.

However, he announced on his personal Twitter profile on Thursday (June 24) that BT had painted over his art in Rothwell and threatened to paint over further pieces of work, and charge him a fee for his troubles.

This led to widespread fury online, and it prompted James Mooney, Head of Communications for Leeds United, to pen an email defending McVeigh and his artwork, and detailing his contribution to the club and the wider society.

It seems a breakthrough, of sorts, has been made after McVeigh delivered an update on Friday afternoon.

He wrote on Twitter: “BT have been in touch, will be having a discussion with them. Hopefully it has been a misunderstanding. I have to say thank you to Lisa Smith for dealing with all the messages and a ‘sorry’ as I think she has been absolutely inundated with emails, more than I ever imagined.”

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It looks like common sense may prevail after all.

McVeigh hasn’t disclosed the communication from BT except to say that they have been in touch pending a discussion, but it looks like a positive step in the right direction.

That is in no small part down to Leeds fans and the club itself who have staunchly defended McVeigh and his right to honour the club in his own unique way.

It seemed a bizarre decision to paint over his work in the first place – are there really that many people bothered by it? If there are people, surely they are outnumbered by the ones who aren’t? It’s not exactly offensive, and his street art has actually added to the surrounding areas, paying tribute to NHS heroes and heralding Leeds legends like Bielsa.

Well done to the club for issuing a swift intervention into proceedings and showing themselves to be the classy operators we know them to be.

This is what makes the Whites one of the most special institutions around, as there is a fiercely tight bond between fans and the club.

Long may it continue.

In other Leeds United news, this Whites-linked Euro 2020 ace is preparing to request a transfer from a European giant.