Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Controversial No.10 Appointment
15 Febraury 2011
In an effort to distance himself from Labour, the Prime Minister has enlisted Larry the Cat to help with Number 10's rat problem.
With this controversial new appointment, David Cameron has risked comparisons to the Major government of the 1990s. Larry has previously avoided showing political allegiance so this move comes as a surprise to many commentators.
Labour Party leader Ed Milliband has criticised the move, describing government policy at PMQs on Wednesday as a 'cat-astrophe'. Although when questioned, he refused to specify his party's policy for rat catching, stating that it was 'under review'.
It is thought that Larry's main role will be at Number 10, in an unofficial capacity as rat catcher. In the past, Prime Ministers have hired a 'rat Tsar' to deal with the issue, but problems arose in 1979 when then Prime Minister James Callaghan tried to appoint his feline rat Tsar to the House of Lords, causing the constitutional crisis that led to the election of Margaret Thatcher.
It is hoped that Larry's appointment will avoid the levels of controversy recently seen around Press Secretary Andy Coulson. According to Number 10 insiders, a move to minimise controversy has seen a special small door installed in the building so Larry can come and go unnoticed. This is a break with convention as Number 10 employees are usually required to declare their arrival at the official entrance.
It is hoped that this appointment will help the government to reach its 40% rat reduction target set under Labour to be achieved by 2012.
The last cat to live at the PM's residence was Humphrey, who left following a damaging public disagreement with Cherie Blair in 1997.