Northern Ireland Secretary orders 'internal review' into why Queen's portrait was removed
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.
It is beyond parody that there is a dispute over a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, our head of state. Stormont House is the seat of HMG in Northern Ireland. All of this is the opposite of HM’s gracious and generous approach. pic.twitter.com/wp0MpTBIIS— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) August 1, 2019
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.
Proud to have a picture of Her Majesty The Queen on the mantle— Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithUK) August 1, 2019
piece of my private office at Stormont. I was delighted to see it there when I arrived last Friday. pic.twitter.com/wYbgNwRvWO
Belfast Telegraph Digital