A FAMOUS Banksy artwork satirising government surveillance has been removed.

The Spy Booth mural showed three 1950s-style agents, wearing brown trench coats and trilby hats, using devices to tap into conversations at a telephone box.

It appeared overnight in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, near GCHQ where the UK’s surveillance network is based.

The mural had been repeatedly subjected to vandalism since being painted on the Grade II- listed Georgian end-of-terrace home, which went on the market in January this year for £210,000.

In February 2015 Cheltenham Borough Council granted retrospective planning permission – meaning it cannot be removed without councillors’ approval.

But pictures from the scene showed the wall had been stripped back to the brickwork and rubble lying on the ground around the phone box, which was central to the piece.

A video on Twitter on Saturday appeared to show the site covered with a tarpaulin and the sound of machinery on masonry.

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said work had been taking place to repair the plasterwork on the house but that he was unaware of the mural being removed.