LONDON (AFP) – One of incoming British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s first decisions saw him dispense with Liz Truss’ lectern, styled to look like a twisted stack of wooden blocks.
The lectern’s unusual appearance sparked surprise last month when Truss used it to make her first address in front of the prime minister’s residence at Number 10 Downing Street.
British prime ministers in recent decades have each had their own personalised lectern.
But the speed of Sunak’s selection as party leader and prime minister following Liz Truss’s short and calamitous tenure meant Downing Street had to cast around for a stand left over from a previous administration.
The lecterns, which have a metal core to prevent them blowing over, usually take at least three weeks to manufacture at a cost of up to GBP4,000 (USD4,500), according to The Daily Telegraph.
Sources told the newspaper that former premier David Cameron’s lectern had been designed to look “statesmanlike”, while Theresa May’s aimed for a “feminine” look.
Boris Johnson’s had a two-tiered base and was the first to be a dark brown colour.
Tony Blair opted for a “basic floating shelf design” which Gordon Brown inherited.
Although Truss’ unsuccessful spell as prime minister lasted just seven weeks, the daily noted that her lectern had however been “well used”.
Meanwhile as Sunak stepped up to address the country, outside Downing Street demonstrators delivered an amplified musical message.
One of the tunes they chose for the arrival of the Star Wars fan Sunak was The Imperial March, Darth Vader’s theme.
Another demonstrating was Neil Horan, a serial protester.