Downing Street cat Larry backed despite No 10 mice

image captionDavid Cameron has called Larry the cat "a good mouser"

Downing Street has rebuffed calls for Larry to resign as No 10's cat after reports a mouse appeared at a recent prime ministerial dinner.

The PM was with other ministers, including Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, when the offending creature appeared, the Daily Mail said.

No 10 brought in Larry, in February, to combat its rodent problem.

Asked whether Larry should resign, the PM's spokesman said: "Larry brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people."

Four-year-old Larry came to Downing Street from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and was said to have "a high chase-drive and hunting instinct", developed during his time on the streets.

A spokesman said he had also shown "a very strong predatory drive" and enjoyed playing with toy mice.

Larry's services were called upon after a large rat was seen scuttling past the door of No 10 during live television broadcasts.

In June, the prime minister told the BBC he was "a good mouser" and had caught three mice since his arrival.

media captionSpotted during a live broadcast from Downing Street during the BBC's News at Ten, Larry patiently waited on the steps before being let in through the famous door.

The PM said he had taken a photograph on his mobile phone of a mouse in his kitchen, but at the time Larry had yet to have been allowed in that room.

He said the cat was "doing well" in his new home and although he was "not very keen on men", he had made an exception in May when he was happy to be stroked by US President Barack Obama.

Larry is not taxpayer-funded - and until a recent fundraising event, his meals were paid for by the prime minister's staff out of their own pockets.

A spokesman for the Royal Parks confirmed in September that Maisie, a cat who lives at the nearby St James' Park keeper's cottage, had struck up a close friendship with Larry.

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