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'Downing Street must be demolished', Students tell ministers - images

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A group of students brought together by the RIBA is aiming to persuade the Labour Party to demolish 10 Downing Street and replace it with an ecological building.

The teenagers are set to meet with key Cabinet members Alan Johnson and David Miliband - together with arts minister David Lammy - in a bid to convince them that the Prime Minister's residence should face the wrecking ball.

The group - from Cedar Mount High School in Manchester, who are currently lobbying outside the Labour Party conference in the city - have drawn up designs for the alternative building, which includes a panic room, an underwater cabinet room and an organic farm.

The initiative, called the Green Wing, was initiated by the RIBA, with the Institution of Civil Engineers, as a way to lobby politicians at the conference.

And the students have managed to set up a meeting with Education Secretary Johnson, Environment Secretary Miliband and Lammy to persuade them of the validity of their ideas.

RIBA president Jack Pringle said: 'This is the first time a major party conference has been held in Manchester, so we wanted to do something really special bringing together education, design and sustainability.

'This is a terrific project, which has really captured the imagination of the students and will, I am sure, captivate politicians and the public alike when the students unveil their work,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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