A £50million portrait of hypocrisy: How Corbyn’s aide’s family sold a ...

When it comes to showing loyalty to the Labour leader and all that he stands for, Laura Murray has got it down to a tee.

She is on social media backing striking university lecturers, protesting against the bombing of Syria and calling for a free Palestine.

Holiday snaps show her posing by a statue of Lenin and a banner bearing the hammer and sickle, symbol of the Soviet Union.

And since actually landing a job in Labour head office — she was made a £40,000-a-year political advisor to the Shadow Cabinet in 2016 — there have been plenty of opportunities to pose alongside Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Laura Murray, 30, is the daughter of one of Jeremy Corbyn's most senior aides - Andrew Murray. After her mother died in 2007 she sold an inherited Picasso painting for £50million and ended up with a £1.3million home in North London

Laura Murray, 30, is the daughter of one of Jeremy Corbyn's most senior aides - Andrew Murray. After her mother died in 2007 she sold an inherited Picasso painting for £50million and ended up with a £1.3million home in North London

In another photo, taken in the Houses of Parliament, she smiles as she shows off a necklace adorned with the words ‘F*** the Tories’. Meanwhile on Facebook, the self-proclaimed socialist states: ‘Please no bourgeoisie on my profile.’

All well and good in theory. But in practice, how do those beliefs sit with someone whose blue-blooded family recently sold one of the country’s best-loved paintings for £50million?

Because The Daily Mail has pieced together the extraordinary story that links Ms Murray to one of Picasso’s most celebrated works. Painted in 1901, Child with a Dove was described by Arts Council England as ‘probably the most famous work by Picasso in a UK collection’. For almost four decades from 1974 it was on public display in the National Gallery. But in 2012 it was put up for sale, prompting an outcry from the art world.

Attempts to find a British buyer failed and in 2013 it emerged it had been sold for £50million, making it one of the most expensive sales in art history. The buyers? Super-rich Qataris.

Painted in 1901, Child with a Dove was described by Arts Council England as ‘probably the most famous work by Picasso in a UK collection’

Painted in 1901, Child with a Dove was described by Arts Council England as ‘probably the most famous work by Picasso in a UK collection’

Self-proclaimed socialist, Laura Murray smiles as she shows off a necklace adorned with the words ‘F*** the Tories’

Self-proclaimed socialist, Laura Murray smiles as she shows off a necklace adorned with the words ‘F*** the Tories’

Ever since, the precise identity of the vendors has remained a mystery. But not any more. The painting was in fact sold by 30-year-old Ms Murray’s mother, Professor Susan Michie. She and her two siblings had been left the picture by their mother, the celebrated IVF pioneer Dame Anne McLaren.

When she died in 2007 she left an estate valued at £52,105,910. The vast bulk of that sum represented the value of the painting.

In her will, the Mail can reveal, she stated that if her children chose to sell then ‘if possible it should be sold to an art gallery or museum in the United Kingdom’.

According to a source, family members were ‘disappointed’ at the decision to put the painting on the market. While the sale attracted a tax bill of £20million, that would have left the trio about £10million each — more than enough to share around other members of their extended family.

Months after the painting was sold, Ms Murray was registered as the owner of the family’s £1.3million five-bed home in North London. It had previously been owned by her mother. At almost exactly the same time her older sister purchased a property for £1.2million nearby, albeit with a mortgage.

Four years earlier her brother had become the owner of a £450,000 flat attached to the family home, apparently a gift from his mother.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a parent giving family members a leg up the property ladder.

As Ms Murray once observed on Twitter: ‘Yes, privilege is handed down through generations in wealthy families. That’s why I think society should radically change by increasing taxes on the rich, reducing inequality, empowering workers and increasing opportunities for all.’

That the media spotlight has fallen on Ms Murray follows her secondment to Labour’s National Complaints Team — a particularly sensitive role that includes dealing with anti-Semitism claims.

Months after the painting was sold, Ms Murray was registered as the owner of the family’s £1.3million five-bed home in North London. It had previously been owned by her mother. At almost exactly the same time her older sister purchased a property for £1.2million nearby, albeit with a mortgage

Months after the painting was sold, Ms Murray was registered as the owner of the family’s £1.3million five-bed home in North London. It had previously been owned by her mother. At almost exactly the same time her older sister purchased a property for £1.2million nearby, albeit with a mortgage

Ten days ago leaked emails showed she had apparently blocked the suspension of a member who had defended an anti-semitic mural. Further controversy ensued when Ms Murray was drawn into a row with Countdown star Rachel Riley.

Ms Murray temporarily deleted her Twitter feed after describing Riley, who has campaigned against anti-Semitism, as ‘dangerous’ and ‘stupid’. Riley, who is Jewish, is now pursuing a libel claim after Ms Murray wrongly claimed that she had said Mr Corbyn deserved to be violently attacked.

Not that the young activist’s involvement with the Labour Party had gone entirely unnoticed before these incidents. Hardly likely, given that her father is 60-year-old Andrew Murray, one of Mr Corbyn’s most senior aides.

Having joined the Communist Party at 18, the author and Morning Star journalist worked his way up the union movement, becoming Unite chief of staff before being seconded to Labour in 2017 as a one-day-a-week consultant.

It was through the hard-Left Stop the War Coalition, formed in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, that he forged strong links to Mr Corbyn.

He has been an outspoken apologist for the Soviet Union — once suggesting brutal dictator Joseph Stalin had been unfairly maligned — and expressing ‘solidarity’ with North Korea, the most repressive dictatorship on Earth.

He is believed to have had a hand in writing the Communist Party’s 2011 edition of Britain’s Road To Socialism, which explains how a ‘revolutionary transformation’ might be achieved and ‘what a socialist and communist society in Britain might look like’.

That includes nationalising ‘all major sectors’ of industry and commerce, and bringing landed estates, luxury tourist establishments and ‘second homes’ under ‘public ownership’. Unlike the brutal regimes he apparently admires, his upbringing could not have been more

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