UK

Larry the Downing Street cat not unloved, says No 10

Larry the cat pictured in 2011
Image caption Larry was re-homed from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in February 2011

Number 10 has denied claims in a new book that Larry the Downing Street cat is disliked by the prime minister and his family.

It is alleged in journalist Matthew d'Ancona's book that Larry is merely a public relations prop.

But a Downing Street spokesman said Larry was "very popular with everyone" in the building.

His lackadaisical approach to mousing has previously led to speculation he would be relieved of his duties.

Larry was brought in to catch rodents, but he was spotted asleep on the job for several hours back in November 2011.

'Savelarry' hashtag

Downing Street confirmed last year, though, that the six-year-old rescue cat - who was re-homed from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in February 2011 - had recorded his first kill.

Following the latest claims in Mr d'Ancona's book about the inside story of the coalition government, called In it Together, a "savelarry" hashtag became popular on Twitter.

But on Saturday a spokesman for the prime minister said the allegations that Larry was not liked were "totally untrue".

Image caption Larry was brought in to catch rodents

"He is very popular with everyone in the building and we all get on purr-fectly well," he said.

On Saturday, Ladbrokes today gave Mr Cameron 1/2 odds of leaving Downing Street first with Larry the cat on 6/4.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "This is a new low for Cameron during his time as PM, and despite his dislike for the cat, we favour Larry to outlast him at Number 10."

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