Does the Prime Minister actually live at Number 10 Downing Street?

Several prime ministers have chosen not to live at Number 10 (Picture: Getty Images)

The results are in and Keir Starmer will be the UK’s next Prime Minister.

After a much-expected landslide victory, the Labour leader will take over from Rishi Sunak at Number 10, Downing Street.

The famous address has been the Office of British PMs since 1735, with some of the most important decisions affecting Britain having taken place behind its doors.

But does the Prime Minister actually live at Number 10?

Here is everything you need to know.

Does the Prime Minister actually live at Number 10?

Technically, the Prime Minister can live at Number 10 – but they often choose not to.

Mr Sunak lived at Number 10 as chancellor but left the street all together as PM (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Number 10 has three main functions:

It is the official residence of the British Prime Minister

It is the Prime Minister’s office

It is the place where the Prime Minister entertains guests from His Majesty The King to US Presidents and other world leaders.

However, former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Theresa May and David Cameron opted to stay in the residence at 11 Downing Street, due to the greater size of the living space.

Number 11 is ordinarily the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Boris Johnson lived at Number 11 during his term (Picture: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It’s not entirely clear where Liz Truss, lived – though a removal van was spotted at Downing Street on her final day in office.

As for Mr Sunak, he resided at Number 10 as Chancellor before opting to move out of Downing Street altogether in April 2022, months before becoming PM.

At the time, Mr Sunak, his wife Akshata, their two daughters (Krishna and Anoushka) and the family’s Labrador, Nova, went to live in their five-bedroom townhouse in Kensington, West London.

Tony Blair and his family also lived next door at Number 11 (Picture: In Pictures via Getty Images)

The Telegraph reported Mr Sunak as saying the decision had ‘everything to do with the fact that our eldest daughter was in her last term of primary school and wanted to be able to walk to school by herself every day’.

In addition to the family’s townhouse, the Sunaks are said to own a number of other properties.

Mr Sunak’s chancellor, Jeremy Hunt and his family lived at Number 11 and were pictured leaving the residence soon after Starmer’s victory was announced.

It’s not yet clear where Keir Starmer and his family will live (Picture: Reuters)

Where will Keir Starmer live?

It is not yet known whether Mr Starmer will live at Downing Street.

He currently shares a £1.75million house in Camden, north west London with his wife Victoria Alexander and their son and daughter.

The area falls under his constituency, Holborn & St Pancras.

A version of this article was first published on November 17, 2022.

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