Boris Johnson is said to have asked Number 10 staff, “Do you want a dog?” – to which they replied: “Yes.”
Sky News reports that Boris Johnson has discussed getting a dog in Downing Street with Number 10 staff.
The new prime minister told staff that previously Number 10 cat “Larry” and the Foreign Office cat “Palmerston” – who he would have known from his time as foreign secretary – didn’t get along.
But Mr Johnson said he was coming into office in the spirit of reconciliation.
He then asked the staff: “Do you want a dog?” And the staff replied: “Yes.”
No further steps have been taken on bringing a dog into Number 10, but one senior source said Larry and any incoming canine “would have to get along”.
They refused to say whether Larry would have a formal role in the selection process of another Downing Street pet.
Larry has become a popular occupant of Number 10 since being brought in as “Chief Mouser”.
However, he has been subject to hostile briefings about his failure to deal with Whitehall’s vermin problem, with Larry previously reported to have “a distinct lack of killer instinct”.
In his second full day as prime minister, Number 10 revealed Mr Johnson has continued his shake-up of government by appointing himself “Minister for the Union”.
Number 10 was unable to set out Mr Johnson’s full title but confirmed he had fulfilled the promise he made during his leadership campaign and informed cabinet ministers of the news on Thursday.
A spokesman said they did not know if Buckingham Palace had been informed or whether this meant Mr Johnson would play a bigger role in cabinet subcommittees involving the union.
The prime minister held “positive” discussions with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein leader Michell O’Neill.
He also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, in which Mr Johnson repeated his message that he wants “abolition” of the Irish border backstop arrangement in any Brexit deal.
Downing Street also confirmed Mr Johnson will be “chief negotiator” during Brexit talks, with Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay acting as a ministerial negotiator.
Ex-Foreign Office adviser David Frost will be the “sherpa” in talks with the EU, the role previously held by Theresa May’s Europe adviser Olly Robbins, who has often been the focus of Brexiteers’ criticism.
Dogs are a much more common choice of pet for US presidents than UK prime ministers, with Barack Obama having “Bo” and “Sunny” – two Portuguese Water Dogs – during his time in the White House.
His successor Donald Trump has ignored the tradition of bringing a dog to Washington D.C. with him, having said earlier this year:
“I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. “How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”
(Story source: Sky News)