Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Secretary orders 'internal review' into why Queen's portrait was removed

The Queen attends the unveiling of a portrait by Colin Davidson as Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness look on
The Queen attends the unveiling of a portrait by Colin Davidson as Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness look on

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith has requested an internal review into the decision to take down portraits of the Queen from government buildings in Belfast.

The pictures were removed after a senior civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office was paid £10,000 in compensation for having to walk past portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Times reports that Julian Smith wants to ensure that images of the monarch are restored within weeks.

A UK government spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: "The Secretary of State has requested an internal review on this issue which will report in due course."

The Northern Ireland Office did not confirm if Mr Smith has requested the portraits to be put back on display ahead of the outcome of the review.

The DUP had called on Mr Smith to reinstate a portrait of the Queen at Stormont on Thursday with party leader Arlene Foster saying it was "ridiculous" that it had been removed.

"It is beyond parody that there is a dispute over a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, our head of state," she tweeted.

Mr Smith revealed there is a photograph of the Queen in his private office at Stormont House.

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