Children may do the funniest things, but drawing politicians is not usually one of them.
Not in this case, however, as a new competition is encouraging children to create their own versions of MPs' portraits, after it emerged earlier this week British politicians spent £250,000 of public money on self-portraits.
The resulting masterpieces show that a dab of paint for a nose and a crayoned mop of hair can do the job just fine, with no taxpayers' money spared.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Mayor of London Boris Johnson have all been immortalised by entrants.
“I wanted to draw that Boris because his face is funny and he can fly!” said 5-year-old Fred, unaware that politicans’ powers fortunately do not extend quite that far.
Children's portraits of MPs
Children's portraits of MPs
1/11 Boris Johnson - Nona (8)
Nona chose to create a portrait of Johnson because 'he is the Mayor of London and I like his hair and he rides bikes'.
2/11 Diane Abbott - Demilea (8)
Demilea drew the Labour MP, whose official portrait cost £11,750, because 'she reminded her of her pet hamster Jessie J'.
3/11 David Cameron - Jada (7)
Jada drew the Prime Minister because 'he's the leader of the world'.
4/11 David Cameron - Ellis (3)
Ellis drew Cameron because 'he looks like Psy' of 'Gangnam Style' fame.
5/11 David Cameron - Amelia (7)
Amelia chose to create a portrait of Cameron and asked while drawing: 'I wonder how much David Cameron will pay for this portrait?'
6/11 Iain Duncan Smith - James (3)
James drew the Work and Pensions Secretary, whose official portrait cost £10,000, because 'he's saying YES 'cos he's a man and 'cos he looks like he is cheering!'
7/11 David Cameron - Emilia (7)
Emilia drew Cameron because 'he has a nice face and is always on the news'.
8/11 Louise Mensch (formerly Bagshaw) - Eve (5)
Eve drew Mensch because 'she was young, smiling and pretty'.
9/11 Nelson Mandela - Eve (5)
Eve also got a little confused and drew the late Nelson Mandela because 'he looked happy and was waving'.
10/11 Michael Gove - Josh (13)
This impressive portrait was created by Josh because he thought the Education Secretary 'had an interesting face'.
11/11 Boris Johnson - Fred (5)
Fred drew Boris Johnson because 'he has a funny face and can fly'.
Demilia, 8, chose to depict Diane Abbott MP because "she reminded her of her pet hamster, Jessie J", while Eve, 5, got a little confused and drew Nelson Mandela, because "he looked happy and was waving".
Another young artist, 7-year-old Amelia, said to her mother while drawing Cameron: “I wonder how much David would pay for this?”
Sara Maslin, editor of website iChild, which is running the competition, said: “It is a great opportunity for children to learn more about the politicians that govern us. We have worked with schools and childminders for many years now, and we have seen some amazing designs from children.
“We felt therefore that children could provide far more exciting portraits of politicans at a fraction of the price.”
Last week it was revealed that £250,000 of public money has been used to fund the ultimate MP vanity project - having specially-commissioned portraits of themselves painted by the UK's leading artists. Iain Duncan Smith, William Hague, Tony Blair and Diane Abbott are among those to have commissioned self-portraits.
The children's competition starts officially on Monday 20 January and will run for two weeks.
- More about:
- Conservative Party
- Diane Abbott
- Foreign And Commonwealth Office
- Iain Duncan Smith
- Labour Party