Downing Street welcomes new addition
- 12 September 2007
Downing Street will house a cat for the first time in a decade, after Chancellor Alistair Darling and his wife Margaret moved their moggy from Edinburgh.
Sybil, a black and white cat named after the Basil Fawlty’s long suffering wife, will reside in the flat above 10 Downing Street to ensure the building is free of vermin.
Cats have long been a tradition at Downing Street, with Wilberforce serving Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher.
Humphrey meanwhile served John Major, before the Blairs moved in and he was controversially retired in 1997.
It was rumoured that Cherie Blair was allergic to cats, but it later emerged that Humphrey had been pensioned off, no longer up to chasing mice.
According to Gordon Brown’s spokesman, Sybil will be a welcome addition to the family: “It’s quite difficult to confine cats. The Prime Minister doesn’t have a problem with it. Sarah Brown doesn’t have a problem with it.”