The Cats Of Boris Johnson And The British PM Are Viciously Fighting

It's a daily catfight outside 10 Downing Street.

02/08/2016 7:44 AM AEST | Updated 02/08/2016 11:05 AM AEST
Larry, the Downing Street, watches over his domain.

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.

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.

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.

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.

It seems Larry has the upper hand at the moment, but we'll keep you updated with a running scorecard from the political catfight.

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