Recently elevated British Prime Minister Theresa May and foreign secretary Boris Johnson are no doubt having some private arguments inside, but in full view of the public, some members of their houses are scrapping daily.
Fur flying in Downing St - someone has to stop this unpleasant scene which I broke up got scratched and still at it pic.twitter.com/52gX0hD07X— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
It is a tradition of British politics that cats are adopted by the likes of 10 Downing Street (where the PM lives) and the Treasury office, with some records saying the custom dates back to the reign of Henry VIII in the 1500s. The PM's cat is even officially known as the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. The current Chief Mouser is Larry (who even has his own Wikipedia page and Twitter feed) and he hasn't been getting along well with Palmerston, the cat adopted by the Foreign Office.
Steve Back, a British political photographer, has been documenting the regular battles outside Downing Street and claims Larry is savagely beating up poor old Palmerston, who has wandered by from King Charles St, to the point where he has mused about calling the RSPCA.
Palmerston Foreign office Cat (B/W) Larry (tabby) locked in a fierce fight again how many more times, needs sorting pic.twitter.com/WtRXll2x3I— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
This Downing St cat fight has to stop the worst fight I've ever seen I'm holding Palmerston after they limped off ! pic.twitter.com/tG94DrDHso— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
Cat wars, it's getting to a point the RSPCA should be made aware what a PR stunt is doing to these cats, someone should take responsibility— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
Downing St need to take responsibility for this Cat wars Palmerston and Larry both fantastic cats are going to kill each other both scared— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
With Johnson one of the leading voices for the Brexit movement, the success of which brought down former PM David Cameron and led to the elevation of May to the top job, no doubt the pair are faced with their own challenges inside. But it is the battle outside which has captivated the British public -- and, it seems, the photographers who spend their days outside the walls of Downing Street waiting for movement.
Massive fight in Downing St was horrible to watch which I tried to break up got scratched fur flying collar lost !! pic.twitter.com/g3WwiKKyYy— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) August 1, 2016
One of the staff from No10 dashed out with some treats to keep the peace, worked until the packet was empty !! pic.twitter.com/h303vuYZQD— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 28, 2016
Palmerston shows of a battle scar while looking for Larry by the front door of No10 - he's not giving in !! yet pic.twitter.com/iRNaPg0iXF— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 28, 2016
The potential for political metaphors, as the Foreign Office cat tries to usurp and topple the long-standing and established order at Downing Street yet keeps ending up battered and bruised and embarrassed, is almost too delicious for words.
palmerston trying to take over No10 but Larry stands his ground, battersea dogs home collar gives him courage pic.twitter.com/4KbTx48PCx— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 26, 2016
A Mexican stand off exists in Downing St between palmerston and Larry it's going to end in tears, staff tried with treats but no success— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 26, 2016
It seems Larry has the upper hand at the moment, but we'll keep you updated with a running scorecard from the political catfight.
The take over bid of No10 has calmed down now an armed officer has arrived on the scene Palmerston v Larry pic.twitter.com/hw7Po0qfJ9— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 26, 2016
Downing St cat face off this morning as Palmerston got into No10 with out permission after a massive fight yesterday pic.twitter.com/A7reX7WKYy— Political Pictures (@PoliticalPics) July 26, 2016