A ROW has broken out after the council censored an artist’s picture of children on the edge on Beachy Head.

Brighton-based photographer Simon Roberts bought advertising space across the city to display the image as a comment on Brexit, which he says resembles “our charge towards a cliff edge with children looking and staring into the precipice”.

But Brighton and Hove City Council intervened two days after the adverts went live and the image, called Between the Acts, was censored to remove the cliff.

Mr Roberts said: “I’m a Brighton resident and I am fully aware of the significance of that landscape for suicide.

“I know a photographer that died there so I am not coming in blind.

“I just don’t believe in the nanny state, where does this end if everything is highly censored?

“They don’t prevent multinationals putting up ads that encourage obesity and mental health issues, we still continue to see those in our public realm.”

Mr Roberts had secured funding totalling “thousands of pounds” from the Arts Council to bring the picture to advertising spaces across Brighton and Hove, including a large billboard near King Alfred in Hove, bus stops, and the digital board in Queens Road.

The picture had previously been on show in streets in London, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow but had not been censored.

Mr Roberts said: “I’m not proud that my city has censored it, I feel we need to have a discussion not just a knee-jerk reaction.”

A council spokesman said: “We believe in the right of artists to make provocative statements through their work, but as a strong supporter the efforts of many partners and organisations who work to discourage people from approaching the edge of the cliffs in and around Brighton & Hove, we feel displaying these posters contradicts ours and others’ responsibilities to keep people safe on cliffs.

“We are also mindful of the impact of this imagery on the many families and friends affected by a high number of cliff falls and suicides in our locality and have therefore agreed that they should be removed.”

A source within the council told The Argus they found a comment made by artwork’s commissioner describing the girl pictured in the red coat as showing “bodacious courage” was “irresponsible and careless”.

They said: “There are many deaths along this stretch of coastline each year.

“It shows this campaign has been ill thought out and this image is not appropriate.”