Theresa May replaces No.10 paintings with her own speech quotes

Theresa May has moved into Downing Street determined to make changes to the look of her new home.

The new PM is making herself at home by framing quotes from the speech she delivered upon accepting office.  Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The new PM is making herself at home by framing quotes from the speech she delivered upon accepting office. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Her aides are preparing to take down some of the paintings hanging on the office walls of the historic building.

The artworks will be replaced by framed quotations from the speech she delivered upon becoming Prime Minister in which she set out her political priorities.

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Her aim is to give staff a constant reminder of the need to deliver results in tackling inequality and improving the prospects of the worst-off.

More than 500 paintings, sculptures and antique items such as inkstands and candlesticks are currently on loan to Downing Street from the Government Art Collection.

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Among them are portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Isaac Newton and Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister, as well as views of Whitehall, Westminster Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral.

They will be put into storage and in their place will come selected quotations from Mrs May who has committed herself to leading a “one-nation” government which would stand up for ordinary families struggling to make ends meet.

Ministers and aides will be tested regularly on their progress towards achieving the goals she set out last week.

May’s unflashy style

The moves symbolise her determination to run an unflashy administration in which ministers are not swayed by the trappings of power. She adopted the same ascetic approach to her previous post of Home Secretary.

Mrs May told her first Cabinet meeting this week: “When I launched my leadership campaign, I said that politics is not a game.

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“The decisions we take around this table affect people’s day-to-day lives and we must do the right thing.”

The Prime Minister and her husband, Philip, moved this week into their new home after a delay to allow David Cameron and his family, who had not expected to leave until September, to pack up their belongings.

Like the Blairs, Browns and Camerons before them they will set up home in the four-bedroom flat above 11 Downing Street. The new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will occupy the smaller flat above 10 Downing Street vacated by George Osborne’s family.

A spokeswoman for Mrs May has declined to say whether Mrs May was making changes to her new home. But the Prime Minister, on the rare occasions she has time to indulge her passion for cookery, is unlikely to have any complaints about the state-of-the-art kitchen installed before the Camerons moved at a reported cost of £25,000.

This article originally appeared on our sister site iNews.