Biden Churchill bust: Did Joe Biden remove bust of Churchill from the Oval Office?

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Joe Biden is now President, ending a tumultuous four years in American history with promises of hope and unity. The new President has a rough path ahead of him, as he allegedly inherited a non-existent vaccine policy on top of a fractured political landscape. As the Oval Office gains a new inhabitant, it has also allegedly lost one.

Did Joe Biden remove a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office?

Mr Biden took a seat in a remodelled Oval Office, with changes made to reflect its new occupant.

Figures which once featured behind Mr Trump, such as Andrew Jackson, were replaced by prominent civil rights leaders.

Among those replaced appeared to be a bust of Winston Churchill, once loaned by Tony Blair to George W Bush.

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Mr Biden’s administration has not confirmed whether it removed the bust, but it was a marked absence during a White House tour given to the Washington Post.

The latest move, which has generated controversy with some politicians in the UK, has happened before.

Mr Obama removed the bust back in 2016, prompting a severe reaction from Boris Johnson, who was at the time helming the Vote Leave campaign.

The Prime Minister once blamed Mr Obama’s decision on his “part-Kenyan” ancestry.

In a comment piece written in the Sun, he suggested the “part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender” drove his decision.

When asked whether he regretted the comments, later deemed “racist” and “deplorable”, by officials on both sides of the Atlantic, he said “of course not”.

Churchill’s grandson, former Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames, told LBC: “Whatever it is it bears his name and it is deeply offensive.”

Mr Johnson has taken a less caustic approach this time, according to his official spokesman.

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They said: “The Oval Office is the President’s private office, and it’s up to the President to decorate it as he wishes.

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

As the Churchill bust has disappeared, a new one appears to have arrived.

Mr Biden has welcomed a bust of Cesar Chavez, a famed American civil rights activist and proponent of social change.

Mr Chavez brought the plight of American crop harvesters to prominence in the 1960s and 70s, and successfully campaigned for fairer wages, toilet and lunch breaks, and access to clean water on the job.

His son, Paul Chavez, chairman of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, told CNN the decision speaks to the vital roles of immigrants.

He said: “It really speaks to the contributions and importance of the work of our community.

“Immigrants have given and continue to give to this country, even in the toughest of times.”

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