Outgoing British leader David Cameron has used his final prime minister’s questions (PMQs) on Wednesday to put to rest a rumor he doesn’t love Larry the cat, the chief mouser at Number 10 Downing Street.
“The rumor is that I don’t love Larry. I do. And I have photographic evidence to prove it,” Cameron told Parliament.
He then produced a large picture of himself and Larry cuddling in an armchair.
Cameron also confirmed Larry would not face eviction from 10 Downing Street when new PM Theresa May takes up residence on Wednesday evening.
“Sadly, I can’t take Larry with me. He belongs to the house and the staff love him very much – as do I,” he said.
Larry had the chance to meet May on Wednesday morning when she arrived for Cameron’s final cabinet meeting, and watched her closely from behind the railings.
There are concerns Larry might not get as much affection from May, as the new PM is reportedly allergic to cats.
With the recent Tory leadership contest and an attempted coup in the Labour ranks since Britain’s vote to leave the EU, there’s been a fair amount of political infighting at Westminster.
Larry, too, has been forced to defend his turf, recently seen facing off with the Foreign Office cat, Palmerston.
Larry, who has been described as having “a high chase-drive and hunting instinct” is a rescue cat from London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and was chosen by Downing Street staff.
It is believed he was brought on as chief mouse-catcher after rats were seen on two occasions behind television news correspondents reporting live.
After moving into Downing Street in 2007, Larry immediately caused controversy by taking a swipe at an ITV reporter while being made to pose for a news item.
Cameron has said Larry is a “bit nervous” around men, speculating he may have had some negative experiences before being rescued.