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Picture of Tory PM May unveiled in Parliament

A new portrait of former prime minister Theresa May has been unveiled in Parliament.

The picture of the UK’s second female prime minister was painted by portrait artist Saied Dai and will eventually hang in Portcullis House, Parliament’s office complex.

The artist said he tried to produce a “psychological characterisation” of the former Tory leader as well as a “convincing physical likeness”.

The picture was commissioned for £28,000 by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, painting by Saied Dai (UK Parliament)
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, painting by Saied Dai (UK Parliament)

The former prime minister is portrayed holding a lily of the valley, a plant associated with the month of May.

Mr Dai said: “In this portrait, the aim was to produce not just a convincing physical likeness, but also a psychological characterisation, both individual and yet archetypal – imbued with symbolism and atmosphere.

“A good painting needs to be a revelation and also paradoxically, an enigma. It should possess an indefinable quality – in short, a mystery.”

Mrs May said the portrait was a “huge honour”.

Tory MP Dean Russell, chairman of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, said: “The Parliamentary Art Collection records those who have made an important contribution to politics and public service here in the UK.

“Few embody this more than Theresa May – our second female Prime Minister, as well as a devoted Parliamentarian and a dedicated public servant.”