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Queen Elizabeth's portrait back on display in Stormont House

The portrait was removed last month.

Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year.
Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year.
Image: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

UNIONISTS IN NORTHERN Ireland have welcomed the decision to put a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II back on display in Stormont House after it was removed in July.

The image is back on display in a public area of the Stormont House building, the BBC has reported.

In July, Lord Maginnis told the House of Lords that a Northern Ireland Office civil servant was paid £10,000 in compensation for being offended at having to walk past portraits of the queen and her husband. 

The government spokesperson said that the portrait was being displayed “alongside a balanced set of images celebrating and reflecting the work of the Northern Ireland Office”.

On Twitter, DUP leader Arlene Foster welcomed the news, writing: “Glad this matter has been resolved. The Secretary of State has made the right decision but questions remain as to how the NIO allowed this situation to develop.”

Foster called the incident “deeply embarrassing”. 

DUP MPs had called on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Julian Smith to reinstate the photographs of the queen at Stormont House, while the party also raised the issue with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  

Smith, who tweeted a photo of the queen in his Stormon office after being appointed to the role, has ordered an internal review into the removal of pictures of the queen. 

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission previously said that displaying a portrait of the queen in a building where civil servants work was not unlawful: 

A tribunal or court would be asked to assess, whether in all of the circumstances of a case, a working environment violated an individual’s dignity or could have the effect of creating an intimidating or hostile workplace.

Ulster Unionist peer Lord Rogan also welcomed the news. “It’s a pity that the common sense which now appears to have been applied to this issue hadn’t been on display in the first place and could have avoided the embarrassment heaped on the NIO,” he said. 

“It still doesn’t answer the question about why the Queen’s portrait was taken down in the first place,” he added. 

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