Officials in the town of Clacton-on-Sea in south-east England have destroyed a satirical mural by street artist Banksy ahead of a 9 October by-election "triggered by the decision of local Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell, to defect to the the [Eurosceptic and anti-immigration] UK Independence Party (Ukip)", writes The Guardian.

The artwork showed a group of grey pigeons holding signs reading “migrants not welcome” and “go back to Africa” in the direction of a smaller, colourful bird. Town officials said they painted over the work after receiving a sole complaint it was “offensive and racist”.

For Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones, the incident reflects the climate ahead of the by-election

an imminent electoral contest between the Conservatives and Ukip inevitably puts immigration high on the agenda […]. If this picture scared anyone it must be because the pigeons’ views are just too close to real opinions in the air – the satire is so accurate that it can be mistaken for reality.