Inside an empty No 10 Downing Street as the nation decides who gets the keys

With PM Rishi Sunak away and focused on the election, ITV News cameras were allowed behind-the-scenes at one of the most recognisable properties in the UK.

ITV News Digital Video Producer Daniel Ajose takes a looks inside an eerie No 10 Downing Street

Words by James Gray, ITV News Producer

Number 10 Downing Street is one of the best known properties in the United Kingdom.

The building, which is home to the incumbent prime minister and their family, regularly hosts Cabinet meetings and welcomes guests from around the world.

So, it is somewhat ironic that in the run-up to polling day ahead of this year’s General Election, its rooms and hallways lie vacant, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak turns his attention to retaining his party’s seat in power.

With the PM away, ITV News cameras were granted behind-the-scenes access to No 10.

A large, open room complete with soft, yellow walls and large rugs that hug the wooden flooring is the centre piece of the building.

Its walls are adorned with the first of many hanging portraits – on this occasion of King Charles III.

Portraits of each of the UK’s prime ministers, along with their signatures, also line the walls.

A so-called ‘Wall of Fame’ – featuring Robert Walpole, Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson and the like – waiting to see who will rise to power next.

A large, open room forms the centre piece to No 10. / Credit: ITV News
A portrait of Sir Winston Churchill hangs in No 10 alongside all of the UK’s prime ministers. / Credit: ITV News

Nearby, a second room is filled with a grandfather clock, table and chairs, among other furnishings.

Twin doors open into back-to-back study rooms, the latter of which is known as the White Room, where the PM is typically pictured hosting overseas dignitaries and guests.

The White Room itself contains a matching white set of chairs and sofas, a grand, glass chandelier and two standing Union flags.

The White Room is where the prime minister hosts overseas guests and dignitaries. / Credit: ITV News

The Cabinet Room, as the name suggests, is where the prime minister and his Cabinet hold a weekly meeting to discuss the business of government.

A long, winding table dominates the room and is adorned with wooden seats, which themselves are lined with leather.

The prime minister’s chair is positioned in the middle of the table and is always left untucked, ready for them to come in and sit down straight away.

The Cabinet Room is one of the most iconic rooms at No 10. / Credit: ITV News

Former prime minister Theresa May even used the room as her personal office, working from the centre of the table.

The room also boasts an impressive range of literature, donated by previous prime ministers and MPs who served in their Cabinet.

The tradition was temporarily broken by Tony Blair, but brought back under the administration of Boris Johnson.

Political memoirs and a copy of Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat can be found in the No 10 library. / Credit: ITV News

Examples of books contained within No 10 include a specific copy of Margaret Thatcher’s memoir, The Downing Street Years.

According to reports, Thatcher chose an edition which specifically included a picture of herself on the spine of the book so that she could always watch over her successors.

And if political memoirs aren’t your style, you could always flick through Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in