Magazine
Latest Issue

The heart of power

Downing Street’s iconic facade masks a dysfunctional centre of government. A major refit is needed to ensure the next prime minister can be a 21st-century leader

By Anthony Seldon   May 2010

Rear view of Nos 10, 11 & 12 Downing Street, from a 1949 illustration. Click here for a key

The black door to No 10 is the most renowned portal in Britain. But what goes on behind it? Inside is an improbable office for a prime minister, where the 17th century meets the 21st. In 1997 a member of Tony Blair’s team, used to the open-plan offices at Labour HQ, found No 10 “too genteel and peaceful, the place too compartmentalised” to direct the transformation of Britain. Stephen Carter, brought in by Gordon Brown in 2008 to run No 10,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect