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Row after PM's portrait removed from uni display

By Alan McGuinness, Political Reporter
A portrait of the Prime Minister has been removed from the walls of her university's geography department after students wrote critical messages around it.
The photograph of Theresa May, who read the subject at St Hugh's College, Oxford, was put up as part of a display about high-achieving alumnae.
But a campaign was quickly launched on Twitter, under the banner "Not All Geographers," calling for the picture to taken down.Students voiced their disquiet over the Windrush scandal and the "hostile environment for immigrants".
#NotAllGeographers have creatively intervened for geographers everywhere to challenge the installation of a Theresa May portrait in Oxford Geography without consultation of the student body (at least). This is unacceptable and does little to inspire confidence in critical thought pic.twitter.com/HqwMqaO56O— NotAllGeographers (@NGeographers) May 5, 2018
Critical messages were pinned around the portrait saying: "Let in every refugee. Throw the Tories in the sea."News that the portrait had been removed sparked anger from some - with universities minister Sam Gyimah describing the row as "utterly ridiculous".He wrote on Twitter: "The faculty should get a grip & put the portrait back in a more prominent place - I'll be happy to unveil it!"Fellow Conservative MP Bim Afolami said: "The absurdity of this. What is happening to this great university? I'm ashamed that my alma mater @UniofOxford has allowed this to happen. They should reverse the decision ASAP."
Utterly ridiculous story from Oxford where now even portraits are being no-platformed. Politics aside @theresa_may is only our second female PM & an inspiration to many. The faculty should get a grip & put the portrait back in a more prominent place - I'll be happy to unveil it!— Sam Gyimah MP (@SamGyimah) May 8, 2018
The university said the picture was taken down because it was "being increasingly obscured by posters bearing mainly humorous satirical messages".
A spokesman said it will be put back up in a way that would stop messages being posted around it, adding: "Mrs May was included in a series of portraits to celebrate outstanding female graduates of the School of Geography and the Environment."We remain proud of her success and that of all the graduates celebrated in the display."The "Not All Geographers" campaign said its call for the removal of the image was "not about making others think in the 'right' way" but raised concerns about having a sitting PM "celebrated in such a way".
Theresa May was included in a series of portraits to celebrate high-achieving female graduates of @oxfordgeography. The portrait was being obscured by posters bearing various messages, so it was taken down and will be re-displayed so it can be seen as intended.— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) May 8, 2018
The group tweeted: "How can you challenge Windrush as an academic but institutionally celebrate @theresa_may?!"Mrs May's portrait was put up last week as part of a photo mosaic of more than 150 geography alumnae at the School of Geography and the Environment.
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Claire Hann, the school's equality and diversity officer, said the aim was to "celebrate the successes of our women students" and "inspire our current students".A spokesman for Mrs May said it was a matter for the university.
news.sky.com
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