Musical beds for Cabinet
This appeared to be the most likely domestic arrangement of the Blairs and Gordon Brown in the years ahead in Downing Street. After visiting the flat above No 10 with their children on Friday, the Blairs decided it was unsuitable for family living.
Cherie Blair, who was briefed by officials two weeks ago on the lay-out of No 11, official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is understood to be more taken with the house next door. It has its own front door, bags more room and plenty of space for the children's skateboards and bikes. The family can have a semblance of privacy there and the children can make as much noise as they want. Mr Brown, a bachelor, does not need the bedrooms, he has a huge office nearby in the Treasury and he appears happy to take the No 10 flat.
There again, the Blairs may continue to live in Islington, in north London. The drawback is the extra security the new Prime Minister and his family will now require. Police have told them the road could be sealed off and they could check everyone coming and going, but this will not endear them to neighbours who have had to endure three years of photographers and reporters.
They may even choose to buy a home closer to Downing Street, but given central London property prices they would be hard-pressed, even on Cherie's barrister earnings and his new salary, to afford anything big enough.
The Blairs have yet to spend a night at Downing Street, having returned to Islington after their tour on Friday. Such a difficult decision was doubtless discussed over his first supper as Prime Minister: salmon and asparagus salad from one of their favourite restaurants, the River Cafe in Hammersmith, west London. They were also sent a copy of the new River Cafe cook book, which continues its exclusive serialisation in today's Sunday Review.
While the Blairs debated, colleagues sorted out their own accommodation. Jack Straw, the new Home Secretary, will remain at his Pimlico family home, eschewing the high-security flat that normally goes with the job, in South Eaton Place. This will now go to Mo Mowlam, the new Northern Ireland Secretary.
John Prescott and Margaret Beckett will take up the flats that go with their new posts, in Admiralty House. Robin Cook, the new Foreign Secretary, will have the traditional houses at Carlton House Terrace and at Chevening in the country.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...