Boris and Carrie Johnson are due to leave Downing Street in September, setting their sights on Dulwich Village. An exclusive enclave in South London, the area is locally renowned for middle-aged professionals and hour-long queues for Gail’s bakery. Dulwich Village is also only a stone’s throw away from the next likely PM, Liz Truss, who resides over at Greenwich. It remains to be seen how the Johnsons will take to Dulwich — or Dulwich to the Johnsons, for that matter. But for now, let’s consider what makes this seemingly ideal neighbourhood so appealing.

The Perfect Family Residence

The Johnsons have reportedly put their Camberwell house on the market for £1.6 million, leaving a healthy budget of £3 million for their new home. In Dulwich Village, where the average house price is £1.7 million, their budget will get them at least a semi-detached five-bedroom Victorian house and a large garden — plentiful space for a family that seems to be always expanding.

The area is also home to three top private schools. As an old Etonian, Johnson might consider nearby Dulwich College for his young son, Wilfred. Despite a recent history of sexual harassment allegations that have now been dropped, the school achieves impressive academic results, with 52 per cent of A-Levels awarded A*s in 2022. It also charges a hefty fee of almost £23,000 a year.

No doubt, the Johnsons are likely to appreciate the privacy offered by the area. Residents of Dulwich Village have repeatedly rejected plans to erect a telephone pole in the neighbourhood. The result? Zero mobile service — perfect cover for the Johnsons against torrents of hate calls and messages. As well as this, with only the sporadic P4 and P13 buses running through the area, travelling to Dulwich Village from anywhere in London is rather difficult and will perhaps detract ‘partygate protestors’ from congregating outside their home.

Unpopular and Politically Adverse

Despite the median household income of £80,000 and seemingly conservative atmosphere, the constituency is a long-held Labour stronghold with 69.4 per cent of the population in Dulwich Village voting Labour in the 2019 General Election. Helen Hayes, the MP for the constituency for the past seven years, is also perhaps one of the most anti-Johnson MPs, tweeting: ‘Boris Johnson isn’t fit to be Prime Minister’ in 2019. Despite the obvious element of champagne socialism being present, Johnson is unlikely to be popular with his new neighbours if recent comments are any indication. On one forum, a Dulwich resident despaired with: ‘What have we done to deserve this?’

There is also an argument to be made for the high living costs of the area. With an annual salary of £164,080 in 2021, the Ex-PM may find his daily expenses skyrocketing — especially considering the residents’ rejection of a Sainsbury’s on the main street, in favour of an artisan Italian deli. After numerous reports of Johnson asking to borrow money from peers for menial amounts and his £4 million divorce settlement in 2020, there is some doubt as to whether the Johnsons can afford the demands of living in Dulwich.

It’s possible that the move is only a temporary stopover. Johnson is following a trend, with Margaret Thatcher having lived in Dulwich for a year in 1990 after being ousted. Owing to the close proximity of Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club, Thatcher was persuaded to live in the area for her husband’s sake but didn’t stick around. Twelve months later she moved to a mansion in Belgravia to be closer to her beloved Westminster. A residence in Dulwich will certainly give Johnson geographic proximity to some likely cabinet members with Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng, Lord Frost and James Cleverly all living within a twenty-minute drive from the area. However, unlike Mrs Thatcher, Johnson may prefer to keep his distance and not have constant reminders of his ignoble departure from Westminster right on his doorstep.

Boris and Carrie Simmons may have their hearts set on becoming Dulwich Village’s next residents. From its middle-class atmosphere, roomy Victorian houses and elite private schools, there’s little not to like. However, considering the Labour-heavy political views of the area and the relative closeness to current Westminster politicians, Hampstead Village might be a better fit.

DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.