Who is Larry the Downing Street cat? Does he belong to Boris Johnson - and what happens when PM leaves No 10
Off the back of the confirmation of Boris Johnson’s resignation as UK Prime Minister, the fate of Downing Street’s feline friend might be in the balance.
After addressing the country at around 12:30 pm, Johnson confirmed that he would step down as soon as a Conservative replacement has been decided.
The country turned on the leader after controversy surrounding Brexit, partygate, the ongoing cost of living crisis that is crippling the country, as well as various other reasons.
One of the most worrying issues coming off the back of this announcement might not be the future of the UK, but of Larry the Downing Street Cat - a familiar feline face who could be leaving alongside the soon-to-be ex-Prime Minister.
Here is everything you need to know about Larry the Downing Street Cat, such as where his future lies and who actually owns the cute creature.
Who is Larry the Downing Street cat?
One of the nation’s favourite furballs is that of Larry the Downing Street cat.
The friendly feline has called number 10 his home for many years, long before Boris Johnson was elected and made his way to the summit of British politics.
He arrived as a rescue from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Larry, who is 15 years old, is regularly seen by the viewing public waiting patiently outside the doors of number 10 until the doorman lets him into his home.
He has also made some powerful friends over the years, with ex-Prime Minister David Cameron revealing that he liked former US President Barack Obama.
Who does Larry the Downing Street cat belong to?
Larry has been a resident of number 10 for many years before Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
Previous PMs such as David Cameron have described Larry as a ‘civil servant’ who is not the personal property of any one individual or group.
Larry has been in residence on Downing Street since 15 February 2011, meaning he has lived through the service of David Cameron (2010-2016), Theresa May (2016-2019) and Boris Johnson (2019-2022).
The Downing Street website explains the vital role that Larry plays at number 10, stating that the loveable furball ‘spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences and testing antique furniture for napping quality.’
It also elaborates that Larry closely monitors the mouse occupancy of the Downing Street house.
What will happen to the cat after Boris Johnson resigns?
Due to the fact that Larry is not owned by an individual but only the staff at Downing Street, he will not be going anywhere when Boris Johnson packs his bags and departs number 10.
Instead, he will be there waiting patiently for the arrival of Boris’ replacement, which is yet to be determined at the time of publication.
Who is the favourite to take over from Boris Johnson as Prime Minister?
But who will Larry welcome to Downing Street next? Whenever Boris Johnson finally ends his time as caretaker at number 10, a Tory replacement will come and take his place in hope to steer the country away from the ongoing cost of living crisis striking the UK.
According to various betting companies such as bet365 and William Hill, the favourite to land the soon-to-be-vacant Prime Minister position is Ben Wallace (11/4 and 5/2).
Wallace, who is a British politician and former soldier currently serving his country as the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, has been widely touted for the role.
Other near-favourites include the recently resigned Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, who is the UK’s Minister for Trade.
Here is a complete list of favourites to replace Boris:
- Ben Wallace - 11/4 (bet365) and 5/2 (William Hill)
- Rishi Sunak - 9/2 (bet365) and 4 (William Hill)
- Penny Mourdaunt - 6 (bet365) and 6 (William Hill)
- Sajid Javid - 9 (bet365) and 7 (William Hill)
- Liz Truss - 10 (bet365) and 8 (William Hill)