How a portrait of the Queen that is ‘the size of a stamp’ has ruffled feathers in Kwasi Kwarteng’s business department

The move has infuriated members of the Business Secretary’s team, with sources also revealing that a memorial plaque commemorating officials from the former Ministry of Power who died during the Second World War, has also been consigned to the “basement” of the building.

“I think some of my colleagues forget we work for Her Majesty’s government,” an official told The Telegraph.

A second added: “The new picture is the size of a stamp. It’s laughable really.”

Another familiar with the row last night told The Telegraph that the controversy was one of several debacles to have taken place in recent weeks.

A second row recently erupted when civil servants in the department attempted to remove the word “Christmas” from official letters which were due to be sent to various business leaders.

According to the insider, the officials involved had suggested the reference to Christmas be expunged and the term “festive season” used instead, as it was felt this was more inclusive.

Battle over using the word ‘Christmas’

However, they were eventually overturned following a lengthy debate over email.

They are the latest clashes between ministers and their aides with civil servants, which have grown in number in recent months as the Government pursues a so-called “war on woke”.

It comes after it emerged in November that civil servants in the Cabinet Office had objected to a Covid-19 advertising campaign targeted at students because it had contained the slogan “don’t take Covid home for Christmas”.

Reports at the time claimed that the officials had held up the plans because they felt it was not “inclusive” enough and risked offending other religious groups.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Wednesday that a Whitehall style guide drawn up for civil servants advises them to avoid using the word “Brexit ” and instead refer to “31 December 2020”.

Officials are also being told not to use the term “transition period”, but instead use the dates during which Britain negotiated its departure from the bloc.

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