Monday 24 October 2016

Clegg confirms 'cats come first' in Downing Street

Published 27/09/2016 | 13:51

Larry the cat in Downing Street
Larry the cat in Downing Street

The cats come first in Downing Street, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said.

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The Lib Dem Brexit spokesman insisted that the office layout at the heart of government is partly dictated by the presence of the Number 10 cat Larry and his arch-rival Palmerston, who rules the roost at the Foreign Office on the other side of the narrow street.

Mr Clegg told Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show: " There's lots of crowded stairs and cluttered offices, and then there was this funny little door that you had to kind of speak to someone on a microphone (about) to get from one part of the building to the other.

"I think actually, increasingly, that was used not for security, but to keep the cats out from one end of the building to another.

"Totally British. The cats come first."

Larry and Palmerston, who were brought in to control a mouse and rat problem in the centuries-old buildings, have had several stand-offs in Downing Street as they prowl their territories.

The ex-Lib Dem leader also said he believed Donald Trump could win the US presidency in November.

"I think he could win. I definitely think he could.

"I mean, look, so many people have said this so it's just become a well-worn cliche now, but we really are living in incredibly volatile times politically. All sorts of things are happening that no-one thought could happen.

"So there's a lot of anger about and a lot of volatility about, and I just think politics is going through one of these phases, we'll look back on it in history as a period of huge turbulence.

"I think at times like this, pretty well anything can happen. People want to lash out at the moment and give what they consider to be the establishment a right old kicking," Mr Clegg said.

Press Association

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