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29 April 2021updated 28 Aug 2021 9:29pm

Boris Johnson’s £200k refurbishment of 11 Downing Street could buy you a whole house in much of the UK

Chart of the Day: The cost of replacing the “John Lewis nightmare” exceeds that of an average property in 131 of 379 local authority areas.

By Patrick Scott

Boris Johnson’s contentious refurbishment of his 11 Downing Street flat is reported to have cost as much as £200,000, with the expensive interior redesign said to include wallpaper at £840 a roll. 

This would be a life-changing sum for all but the wealthiest in the UK and, as our analysis shows, enough to buy a property in much of the country outright.


The cost of replacing the Theresa May-bequeathed “John Lewis nightmare” exceeds that of an average property in 131 of 379 local authority areas across the UK (or 279 for flats alone) according to the latest average from the Land Registry.

Some of these areas are located in the so-called “Red Wall” group of constituencies that the Conservatives won from Labour in 2019. Much has been projected onto this group of voters since, but it’s not a stretch to state that having £200,000 to spend on a house redesign would be comfortably out of reach for 99.9 per cent of them.

[See also: Chart of the Day: how the UK’s Covid-19 death rate has plummeted]

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