Portraits of former prime ministers could soon be accompanied by plaques making clear their links to the slave trade after Parliament yesterday launched an audit of its art collection in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Parliament will for the first time undertake a “systematic review” of its entire collection in order to address the chequered histories of some of its most distinguished members. The review, which will be led by a cross-party group of MPs who advise the Speaker, will also assess whether greater prominence should be given to BAME figures and those who helped to abolish the slave trade in 1807. Initial research has already identified 232 out of 9,500 works of art which have links to the transatlantic slave trade, including 189 which depict 24 people who either had ties to slavery or profited from it. Among those listed as having “financial or family interests in the slave trade” are Tory prime ministers Robert Peel, who served two terms between 1834-35 and 1841-1846, Lord Liverpool, who served from 1812-1827, and the Liberal William Gladstone, who served as prime minister for 12 years over four terms between 1868 and 1894. The inclusion of all three is likely to stir debate among historians. Peel, although the son of a cotton trader, campaigned for the abolition of slavery, while both Lord Liverpool and Gladstone’s views evolved over time.