DONALD Trump has asked Britain to send Winston Churchill’s bust back to the White House so he can return it to the Oval Office, The Sun can reveal. The request was put to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson by the President Elect’s senior advisers during talks in New York three days ago. Last night, Downing Street confirmed that Theresa May has agreed to a loan of the famous sculpture again.
The gesture marks a diplomatic coup for the PM in her bid to win influence over the unpredictable new US leader. A bitter row over the bust’s location has raged for seven years since outgoing President Barack Obama replaced the wartime leader’s image with one of Martin Luther King in 2009. Since then, it has been kept at the British Embassy in Washington DC.
Trump’s closest advisers Jared Kushner and Steven Bannon relayed the request for the bust’s return after revealing their boss was a big fan of the legendary Tory, and had even read Boris’s biography of him. A No10 spokesman told The Sun last night: “The Prime Minister is happy to loan the Churchill bust to the White House and will be delighted to view it on display when she visits this Spring.”
The bust – by British artist Sir Jacob Epstein – was originally presented to George W. Bush in July 2001 and stayed in his office through out his presidency. The idea of returning it to the Oval Office was first suggested to the property billionaire by ex-UKIP boss Nigel Farage in November last year, when he became the first British politician to visit him after the US election.