Belfast office bans pictures of Queen

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THE removal of portraits of the Queen from the Northern Ireland Office has been branded as “pandering to the Republicans”.

The Queen unveils a portrait in Image Jeff Spicer WPA Pool Getty Images
The Queen unveils a portrait in Image Jeff Spicer WPA Pool Getty Images

The Queen unveils a portrait in 2016 (Image: Jeff Spicer – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

All pictures of Her Majesty have been taken down in Belfast after a civil servant received £10,000 in compensation for being “offended” by walking past an image of the monarch. Many nationalists in Northern Ireland do not recognise the Queen as the head of state, but the ban on images of her has prompted widespread fury. Sammy Wilson, a senior DUP MP, branded the NIO as “a nest of Republican-pleasing vipers”.

And Labour MP Kate Hoey added: “Given it’s a UK Government department, I would have thought it not unreasonable that you would expect to see a portrait of the head of state.

“Whoever made this decision needs to be reprimanded – and I hope the new Secretary of State demands that they be replaced.”

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said that although he had a picture of Her Majesty in his private office, the NIO “takes its obligations under the Northern Ireland Act and fair employment legislation seriously”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to be “puzzled” by the decision not to have any pictures of the Queen on display when he visited Stormont on Wednesday.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK