New Times,
New Thinking.

27 September 2016

Nick Clegg reveals that there is a special security door for cats in Downing Street

“Cats come first.”

By Media Mole

Another day, another story about Whitehall cats to distract the nation from the hellfire of British politics and the death of social democracy as we know it.

This week, it’s Nick Clegg’s turn to weigh in on the greatest silly season-turned-perennial story of our times. He revealed, during an interview on Absolute radio, that there is a special security entrance for cats in Downing Street.

The cats in question are No 10’s Larry, and the Foreign Office cat Palmerston, who often clash with one another when prowling their neighbouring patches of Whitehall territory.

Clegg explained that Downing Street’s layout is basically dictated by the presence of these two cats:

“There’s lots of crowded stairs and cluttered offices, and then there was this funny little door that you had to kind of speak to someone on a microphone (about) to get from one part of the building to the other.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

“I think actually, increasingly, that was used not for security, but to keep the cats out from one end of the building to another.

“Totally British. The cats come first.”

Your mole hears from government sources that while Larry and Palmerston are feuding, the Treasury cat Gladstone is burnishing his credentials as Whitehall’s most efficient mouser. Apparently he has the highest tally since moving in. But perhaps he will need his own secure entrance soon too, as Palmerston was recently caught breaking into the Treasury.

A little envious, your mole is lobbying its editor for its own secure burrow into NS Towers.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy