Cecil Rhodes gazes down on Liam Fox at the Department for International Trade. A map of 18th-century Europe graces the wall at the headquarters of the Brexit secretary, David Davis. At the Foreign Office, Boris Johnson toils before the watchful eye of a Winston Churchill bust. For the government ministers dubbed the “Three Brexiteers”, it seems that inspiration is to be found in Britain’s imperial glories.
The trio’s stirring choices of artwork now form the backdrop to Britain’s greatest political upheaval since the second world war. The works have been revealed after a freedom of information request by the Observer for the names of items transferred from the government art collection, after Theresa May’s arrival at Downing Street last year saw the creation of Fox’s and Davis’s departments. read more