July 26, 2019 / 11:56 AM / 5 months ago

British PM Johnson eyes key appointment: A Downing Street dog

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested getting a dog for his Downing Street office to join current resident Larry the Cat.

FILE PHOTO: Larry the cat sits outside Downing Street in London, Britain June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Johnson took office earlier this week, walking through the black front door of Number 10 Downing Street for the first time after setting out a desire to defy his critics over Brexit and bring a decisive new leadership style to Britain’s top job.

During an address to staff he asked whether they would like a dog, a source with knowledge of the meeting said on Friday.

The staff replied with an enthusiastic “Yes”.

Downing Street, the nerve centre of British government for nearly 300 years, is already home to a brown and white tabby cat who carries the official title “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office”.

Appointed in 2011, Larry has outlasted two former prime ministers: David Cameron and Theresa May.

He has become a celebrity in his own right, with an unofficial Twitter account which uses some of the thousands of pictures taken by press photographers documenting his comings, goings, and territorial scraps with other departmental cats.

The source said no firm decisions on a dog had been taken and declined to comment on possible living arrangements alongside Larry.

“You can consider it a longer-term project,” the source said.

Larry appears to be taking the news in his stride. He was seen lying on a window ledge in Downing Street for most of the morning, according to a Reuters witness.

Reporting by William James and Peter Nicholls; editing by Stephen Addison

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