Johnson's gone. Will 'levelling up' be the next to go?
Plus, searching for the art of Australia's Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children
Dear Millers — welcome to a bumper Thursday edition of The Mill. It’s a day of high drama in Westminster as Boris Johnson finally announces his intention to stand down as prime minister, and we’ve got a compelling piece by Joshi about what today’s news means for the “levelling up” agenda. Also in today’s edition:
A new exhibition at the Portico Library showcases the artwork of Australia’s Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children — but are some of their pictures still in the homes of Manchester residents, half a century after they were sold here? Dani speaks to the curator appealing for owners to come forward.
We meet a man who has transformed his 1950s semi in Whalley Range via an ambitious extension and modernisation. What does it take to transform a house that has seen better days?
And we have an absolutely packed weekend to-do list, including Puccini’s La Boheme, and we recommend a new play exploring the experiences of America’s black community in the twentieth century.
As always, our end-of-week editions are for Mill members, and regular Millers can just read the top of the email. Join up now to read the whole edition, including our stories about the future of levelling up and the art of the stolen children. We now have 1,411 members, so we’re closing in on our target of reaching 1,500 this summer. The kind of journalism we do takes a lot of time, and our approach involves plenty of editing, fact-checking and sometimes legal advice too, so if you’re on our free list, please think about joining up now for £7 a month.
Your Mill briefing
Boris Johnson finally bowed to mounting pressure from his party and announced his resignation today, following more than 50 resignations from the government. The outgoing prime minister said he was sad to be leaving, but added: "at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves". The 1922 Committee of backbenchers will now decide the timetable for electing a new leader, a process that will involve Conservative MPs selecting two candidates for the party’s members to choose from. Follow the latest developments on the BBC’s live blog.
Andy Burnham says British politics “is trading in minor, minor things," in an interview with the Guardian to mark his fifth year as mayor. Burnham also talks about housing as a legal right, the idea of a universal basic income, the nationalisation of railways and — of course — improved bus services. “It’s about guaranteeing every citizen of this country the basics, I don’t see how you can have a more equal country without those things.”
Last night's opening match of the women’s football European Championships was attended by 68,871 fans at Old Trafford, a record-breaking crowd for the competition, who watched England beat Austria 1-0. The tournament runs until the end of the month, and lots of games are happening locally, including at Leigh Sports Village and the Manchester City academy stadium.
Manchester Airport's terminal three was evacuated by armed police and the fire service at around 6am this morning. When it opened half an hour later, passengers said queues reached the airport car park as people tried to get back through security. It's understood that a member of the public activated an alarm by mistake, which then triggered a routine evacuation.
Police in Oldham have been granted increased stop-and-search powers following a string of attacks on properties in the borough. Thought to be in retaliation to a viral video of a teenager being assaulted in the area, the attacked properties have included a restaurant smashed with baseball bats, according to GMP.
Rochdale Council has bid for £40m of levelling-up money to finance projects in Heywood and Middleton. John Blundell, the council's lead on regeneration, says the money will advance Rochdale's rail corridor strategy, improve Heywood's civic centre and build a new public square. In Middleton, the money is planned to refurbish the theatre section of the town's arena.
And finally, why have a series of ugly shipping containers been deposited on Picadilly Gardens? Joshi and Darryl discuss their favourite topic on this week’s episode of our podcast, in which we also discuss the defection of a Labour councillor in Manchester and a couple of other big stories. Listen on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify or on your favoured podcast platform.
At Home With…Chris Fox
Program manager Chris Fox lives in Whalley Range with his partner Eddie and dog Cooper. They moved into their 3-bed semi-detached house in November 2020, which cost £275,000. (“I don’t recommend buying a house during a lockdown,” he jokes.) A home improvement enthusiast, Chris has documented their extension journey on Pinterest — work began in June 2021 and was completed in November 2021. He invited Dani in to take a look around.
Hi Chris! Tell us about your home. This house was built in 1957, so is a typical post-war Manchester semi-detached. I’m only the second owner of this house, the previous family had lived here since new. There’s a nice story of them setting in the foundations of the house, planning it all out in 1956 or 1957. We bought the house in relatively poor condition so we have set about modernising it with a large rear extension, new kitchen, bathrooms etc. The extension was designed by Steve Elson Architecture and built by Joe and Matt from The Trades People.
What was the budget for your extension? The current financial climate is a tricky place to embark upon a project and remain on budget — we certainly haven’t finished the house and we’ve had to cut accordingly to ensure that the extension and bathrooms got finished.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Mill to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.