Rishi Sunak is moving into No 10 on Saturday, the Prime Minister’s press secretary confirmed after removal vans were spotted in Downing Street.
Six months after moving out, Mr Sunak and his family are returning to the flat above No 10, which they inhabited when he was chancellor in Boris Johnson’s Government.
Vans from the company Bishop’s Move, which specialises in removals, storage and shipping, were seen taking belongings into Downing Street on Saturday, with staff pictured carrying a mattress through the famous black door.
Earlier this week, Mr Sunak’s press secretary told reporters: “They will be moving into the No 10 flat, where they used to live.”
Asked why No 10 and not the bigger No 11 apartment, usually used by the top Treasury minister but favoured by Mr Johnson during his premiership, she said: “They were very happy there.”
In April, before Mr Sunak dramatically resigned as chancellor – precipitating Mr Johnson’s downfall – his wife and two daughters decamped to their west London mews house to be closer to the children’s school.
Coming around the same time that news emerged that Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, had claimed “non-dom” tax status, reportedly saving her millions, there was speculation the move was linked to a wish to avoid media attention, although Mr Sunak denied that at the time.
Mr Sunak split his time between the official residence and family home in his final few months as chancellor.
Their return to the flat will come without the novelty factor that usually accompanies the move for a new prime minister’s family.
Asked will they redecorate, Mr Sunak’s press secretary said: “Not that I’m aware of.”
Mr Johnson’s lavish refurbishment of the No 11 flat reportedly cost more than £200,000 – far exceeding the £30,000 annual public grant afforded to the prime minister to spend on living quarters.
Mr Sunak, arguably the richest ever prime minister with a fortune far larger than the King’s, will be able to choose from an array of properties at which to spend weekends with his family, including the PM’s countryside retreat Chequers, the Downing Street flat, the family’s Kensington house and their constituency home in North Yorkshire.