Sydney Inner West council removes a portrait of The Queen in the middle of a meeting

‘Disrespectful’ moment a greenie local council removes a portrait of The Queen in the middle of a meeting

A local council has been criticised for taking down a portrait of The Queen from the wall during a meeting.

Inner West Sydney councillor Tim Stephens removed the portrait and handed it to the general manager, who then discussed it with Mayor Darcy Byrne.

‘It’s redundant now – it’s not like you’re giving away an asset,’ Mayor Byrne said.

Footage of the meeting shows some of those in the gallery laughing but at least one woman can be heard saying it was ‘disrespectful’.

Inner West Councilor Tim Stephens (standing on left) removed the portrait at last Tuesday's meeting

Inner West Councilor Tim Stephens (standing on left) removed the portrait at last Tuesday’s meeting 

The council's general manager holding the portrait

Mayor Darcy Byrne said he should keep it

Mr Stephens gave the portrait to councils general manager who discussed it with mayor Darcy Byrne who joked he should take it home (pictured) 

Independent councilor John Stomolis agreed, later criticising taking down the portrait in the middle of a meeting as ‘highly insensitive’. 

‘Flippancy like this from the leader of the Inner West community is appalling,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.

He said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, also from Sydney’s inner-west, was supportive of Australia ditching the monarchy but was displaying a lot more tact since The Queen’s death.

‘We have a PM who is running a republican debate but at the same time he is being very respectful, going to the funeral and declaring a public holiday,’ he said.

But Cr Stephens and Mayor Byrne both said they did not intend any disrespect.

Charles has been proclaimed King of the British empire after the Queen's passing (pictured in 2013 in British Parliament in London)

Charles has been proclaimed King of the British empire after the Queen’s passing (pictured in 2013 in British Parliament in London) 

Mayor Byrne said his ‘asset’ comment was in response to the council’s general manager joking that his wife would like the portrait to put up in their own house.  

Cr Stephens said he only removed the portrait because he assumed it was protocol after Charles III was proclaimed King.

‘I thought it appropriate and respectful in a period of official mourning that The Queen’s portrait be removed from display in the Council Chamber,’ he said. 

The portrait is understood to have been put back on the wall after the meeting and Inner West Council is seeking official advice on the correct protocol for updating the portrait to King Charles. 

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