Nigel Farage blasts Biden over Churchill bust ‘removal’ from Oval Office – ‘Slap in face!’

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The Reform Party UK leader has history with the artefact after it was placed back in the presidential office by then President-elect and associate Donald Trump. It had been removed by Barack Obama – but Mr Farage claims it was returned to the room after he spoke with successor Mr Trump.

Pictures of the Oval Office on Mr Biden’s Inauguration Day show a redecorated room with new features but observers noted an absence.

The redesigned room “does not have the bust on display”, the Washington Post said.

It has been a hot topic in the past, with its removal by Mr Obama described as a “snub to Britain” in 2016 by then Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

But Downing Street has declined to criticise Mr Biden following reports he too has removed the Churchill bust, gifted to George W Bush by Tony Blair.

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Oval Office is the president’s private office and it’s up to the president to decorate it as he wishes.

“I would point you back to what the Prime Minister has said previously about looking forward to working closely with Joe Biden.

“We’re in no doubt of the importance that President Biden places on the UK and US relationship, and the prime minister looks forward to having a close relationship with him.”

Writing on Twitter, Mr Farage said: “There are media reports that the bust of Winston Churchill has been removed from the Oval Office.

“If true, this is a slap in the face to the British and any prospects of good relations.”

He also discussed the bust in an interview on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine.

Mr Vine said: “I know you’re hung up on this Winston Churchill bust, it might be better if someone just lost it because it causes so much trouble…”

Mr Farage said: “Oh Jeremy! I didn’t think you were part of cancel culture.”

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Mr Vine said in response: “No, I’m not cancelling you, but you’ve spent eight years complaining that Obama had taken it out and I’ve never been sure whether he did or not…”

Mr Farage replied: “He did! And funnily enough, I spoke to Trump three days after that election in 2016.

“I asked him would he put the Churchill bust back into the Oval Office as a symbol of how he felt about the United Kingdom.

“And how he felt about the things over the last hundred years our countries have done together, and he put it back there the first day.”

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