Barometer

Which prime minister spent the most on their Downing Street flat?

8 May 2021

9:00 AM

8 May 2021

9:00 AM

Flat spin

Which prime minister spent the most on their Downing Street flat, according to figures reported over the years?

Margaret Thatcher £0 (Kept 1960s kitchen. Is reputed to have paid for her own ironing board)

Tony Blair £127,000 spent on larger flat above No. 11 (including wallpaper reputed to have cost £70 a roll)

Gordon Brown £84,000

David Cameron £92,900 (with £64,000 spent on kitchen and bathroom)

Theresa May £25,500

Boris Johnson Between £88,000 and £200,000 (according to various reports)

But all were eclipsed by the £650,000 of public money spent by former Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine on his flat in the Lords, including £59,000 of wallpaper.

Local voting

How many people bother turning out for local elections even when there isn’t a pandemic on?


2019 37% (coincided with European elections)

2018 35%

2017 35%

2016 34%

2015 66% (Overall turnout includes for general election held on same day. Specific turnout for local elections was given as 20 million out of an electorate of 31.5 million, i.e. 63.5%)

2014 36%

Source: Electoral Commission

In the round

A retractable floor is to be installed at the Colosseum in Rome. How did it compare with a modern stadium?

— According to records of the time it could seat 87,000 spectators, just 3,000 fewer than the present Wembley stadium. Seats were 40cm wide, compared with 50cm in the new Wembley.

— The population of Rome at the time was 300,000 adults. If Wembley were to hold as high a proportion of Greater London it would need more than 2 million seats.

— Modelling suggests it could be emptied as quickly as the best modern stadiums.

Less travelled?

Have transport numbers nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels? Trips made at the end of April (and in April last year), compared with normal levels:

Car journeys 93% (39%)

National rail 34% (4%)

Tube 37% (5%)

Vans 107% (48%)

Source: DFT

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