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Who else lives in Downing Street? New Prime Minister set to move to Number 11

Moving vans were spotted outside Downing Street on Friday, as the outgoing Prime Minister prepares to officially step down.

The new Prime Minister, either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, will then soon move in, making Number 10 their official residence.

However, the Prime Minister and their family are not the only residents of Downing Street.

Find out below who else lives on the famous street –and where the prime minister actually lives.

How big is 10 Downing Street?

Number 10 Downing Street is “much larger than it appears from its frontage,” according to Sir Anthony Seldon, who wrote about the history of the famous street for the Government’s official website.

Number 10 features “a warren of rooms and staircases,” that join to a spacious building behind it, as well as connecting to Number 12, via a corridor that runs through Number 11.

However, the flat above Number 10 is actually much smaller than the neighbouring flat at number 11.

How many houses are there on Downing Street?

There are now four houses on Downing Street: 9, 10, 11, and 12. Numbers 1-8 were demolished in the 19th century.

Where does the Prime Minister live?

Number 10 is traditionally the Prime Minister’s official residence but, since 1997, prime ministers have chosen to live at Number 11, which is more spacious, with four bedrooms.

The swap occurred when Tony Blair came into office in 1997. As Blair had three children and the Chancellor at the time, Gordon Brown, had none, they swapped so the family could take the bigger flat at Number 11.

Number 11 Downing Street is the flat that Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds spent £200,000 redecorating, sparking a backlash.

Who else lives on Downing Street?

Number 11 Downing Street is the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is currently Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed in July.

However, as the Prime Minister typically lives at Number 11, the Chancellor of the Exchequer resides at Number 10. Mr Sunak lived at Number 10 until he resigned in July.

Number 9 Downing Street hosts the media briefing room that the Government spent £2.6 million on renovating.

It is the room where Allegra Stratton – then the Prime Minister’s press secretary –infamously gave a mock TV briefing in which she joked about “a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night”.

Number 12 Downing Street is officially the Chief Whip’s residence, though their offices are based at Number 9.

Number 10 Downing Street is also the official residence of the chief mouser – better known as Larry the Cat. Larry has lived at Number 10 since 2011, after being “recruited” from Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home.

When was Downing Street built?

Downing Street was built in the 1680s by Sir George Downing, who was a diplomat and government administrator.

The area around Downing Street was already a prestigious centre of government 1,000 years ago.

Between 1682 and 1684, Downing pulled down the existing properties of the street and replaced them with 15 to 20 terraced houses.

The Downing Street houses were poorly built in order to maximise profit and the original numbering was completely different from what we see today.

House numbers were unorganised and were better known by the name or title of their occupants. Before 1779, Number 10 was known as Number 5.

10 Downing Street received a humble transformation in the late 19th and early 20th century. During William Gladstone occupancy in 1884, electric lighting was fitted and the first telephones were installed.

Over the years, more changes and improvements were made to the house. Today Number 10 has three functions – it is the official residence of the British Prime Minister, it is their office and it is also the place where important guests are entertained.

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