STUDENTS at Oxford University have voted to remove a 'colonial' portrait of the Queen from their common room, it is reported.

Members of the college’s middle common room (MCR) voted to take down the print because for some students 'depictions of the monarch and the British monarchy represent recent colonial history'.

The decision made by graduates from Magdalen College quickly drew criticism from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He said on Twitter: "Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd.

"She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the UK.

"During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity & respect around the world."


However, Dinah Rose, president of Magdalen College, pointed out that MCR does not represent all students at the college.

In a series of tweets, she added: "Here are some facts about Magdalen College and HM the Queen.

"The Middle Common Room is an organisation of graduate students.

They do not represent the College.

"A few years ago, in about 2013, they bought a print of a photo of the Queen to decorate their common room.

"They recently voted to take it down. Both of these decisions are their own to take, not the College’s.

"Magdalen strongly supports free speech and political debate, and the MCR’S right to autonomy. Maybe they’ll vote to put it up again, maybe they won’t."