UK Politics

Larry the cat escapes Downing Street eviction

Theresa May Image copyright AP
Image caption Larry could be seen assessing his new owner - and her leopard print flats - as Theresa May made her way in to No 10

Larry the cat is to keep his job - and home - in Downing Street after it was confirmed he would be spared eviction when David Cameron leaves on Wednesday.

The furry feline has been a familiar face on the steps outside Number 10's black door since he moved in, in 2011.

And the "chief mouser" will stay when Theresa May replaces Mr Cameron as UK prime minister.

"It's a civil servant's cat and does not belong to the Camerons - he will be staying," a government spokesman said.

The tabby cat, from London's Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, was brought in to Downing Street in 2011 tasked with tackling a rat problem, after a large black rat was seen scuttling past the No 10's front door in the background of a live TV broadcast.

Said to have a "strong predatory drive" and enjoy playing with mouse toys, Larry was considered to be well-suited to the post.


Downing Street cats: A history

Image copyright WPA Pool/Getty Images
Image caption Larry
  • 1920s - Rufus of England
  • 1930s and 1940s - Munich Mouser
  • 1970s - Wilberforce
  • 1989 to 1997 - Humphrey
  • 2007 - Sybil (Alistair Darling's pet cat)
  • 2011 - Larry

Larry followed in the paw prints of several Downing Street moggies, known unofficially as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.

He was the first cat to hold the appointment since Humphrey - who was adopted in 1989 after wandering in to No 10 as a stray during Margaret Thatcher's premiership - was retired in 1997.

Mr Cameron said he was "delighted to welcome Larry to his new home" and that he was confident he would be "a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors".

An unofficial Twitter account set up under Larry's name tweeted on Monday: "Does anyone know a good cat groomer available tomorrow? I need to make a good impression on someone on Wednesday..." - referring to Mrs May's arrival.

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