Gavin Williamson says Oxford students’ removal of Queen portrait is ‘absurd’

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has waded into the row over Oxford students removing a portrait of the Queen from their common room, calling it ‘absurd’.

Members of the Middle Common Room at Magdalen College voted for the change by a majority, saying she represented ‘recent colonial history’ and could make some feel unwelcome.

Williamson tweeted that the monarch has “worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

She was a symbol of “what is best about the UK”, he said, as he condemned the decision.

“Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd,” he wrote.

“She is the head of state and a symbol of what is best about the UK.”

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