In Downing Street, the succession of prime ministers… and their lecterns

À Downing Street, the succession of prime ministers... and their lecterns


Even before entering Downing Street, Rishi Sunak was already marking his differences with Liz Truss: the former leader's contemporary design lectern was replaced by a more classic one, for the first speech of the new Prime Minister on Tuesday. 

During her entrance speech at the official residence of British heads of government, the former leader stood out for the original form of its lectern, with a spiral-shaped base. 

It had to be protected under a garbage bag and even stored for a while while waiting for it, due to a violent downpour.

Just 49 days later, she said her goodbyes behind the same piece of furniture , expressing no regret after the shortest term in the country's history.

As soon as she left for Buckingham Palace where she was to hand in her resignation to King Charles III, the lectern was put away and replaced by another, with more classic forms.

Boris Johnson also used a classic lectern, with a more massive base that was supposed to withstand blows to pace his speeches, while Theresa May's was supposed to reflect a feminine image.

According to The Telegraph newspaper, Rishi Sunak did not use a lectern designed especially for him, but an existing one used by the outgoing government.

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It must be said that he was selected during a blitz campaign within the Conservative Party, entering Downing Street five days after the announcement of the resignation of Liz Truss.

According to the Telegraph, it takes three weeks to make this wooden furniture, reinforced with metal to hold up in the wind, costing up to 4,000 pounds (about $5,400 CAD ) piece.

The same source specifies that it is the party which orders the lecterns, in two copies, and lends one to the government. They then join the archives, respectively, of the party and the government, in the case of Liz Truss after having been barely used.