Queen's portrait removal a 'nonsense story', Oxford graduate tells James O'Brien

9 June 2021, 12:53

'So two dozen people voted to take down a picture from the wall?'

By Tim Dodd

An ex-Oxford student tells LBC the removal of the Queen's portrait in Magdalen College would've been an insignificant decision taken by 'whoever happened to be there at the time'.

It comes as members of the Magdalen College Middle Common Room (MCR), which is made up of post-graduate students, overwhelmingly voted to remove the portrait.

Martin in Kilburn, who was MCR President at St Catherine's College, began by revealing: "I've actually been in that middle common room, the MCR.

"You need to think social club rather than Carlton Club when you think about MCR's in Oxford Colleges. They tend to be one room, quite dingey, the sort of thing that you would be used to going to a school disco [in] kind of thing.

"The surprising thing about that room was that the picture of the Queen was actually there!"

James replied: "When you say you were surprised it was there, is it possible even that it was put almost as a piece of mischief by previous students?"

"Almost certainly," Martin said.

"Because the graduate community that uses the MCR is a very small fraction of the graduate community of the college. You get the same old faces in there all the time.

"A member of the MCR can say I don't like that picture let's have a vote to take it down, and it just happens to be who is in the general meeting at the particular time."

READ MORE: Gavin Williamson criticises Oxford University students for removing Queen's portrait

James replied: "So it's an enormous pile of nothingness in one sense, and yet here it is on the front page of The Times newspaper, never mind the Mail and the Express.

"How many students do you think, ball park, would've been casting votes on this?"

Martin then said at his college of St Catherine's, the biggest in Oxford, they only had 20 to 30 people in their meetings.

"So maximum two dozen then? It could've been 13-11, it could've been a really close call?", James laughed.

"So two dozen people have had a vote on whether or not to take down a picture on the wall of their social club?"

Martin said: "Exactly, that is basically it.

Nick Ferrari hits out at plans to remove Queen portrait from Oxford

"I'm angry that the papers are angry because it's a nonsense story!"

James then said there is a sense of frustration at watching "good, honest, decent people" being treated like "absolute cattle by people getting paid a fortune to whip them up into a state of frenzy over a massive pile of nothingness".

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules

JOB on Rishi Sunak Bins

Rishi 'seven-bin' Sunak is lifting bans that 'don't exist', asserts James O'Brien


Rishi Sunak's weakening of Net Zero policies is his 'stupidest intervention' to date, asserts James O'Brien