Foreign Office is adopting a cat to get his claws into the role of Chief Mouser

The Foreign Office is adopting a cat to help keep pests in Whitehall at bay.

The cat - named Palmerston - will join the government department on Wednesday, sources at the Foreign Office told ITV News.

The cat is named after Viscount Palmerston, who was foreign secretary almost 200 years ago before twice serving as prime minister.

He will take on the title of "chief mouser" and have responsibility for catching mice and other pests.

The chancellor's cat Freya Credit: PA

Palmerston will have company in Whitehall, living near fellow feline Larry, David Cameron's cat in Downing Street.

It is hoped Palmerston will fare better than Chancellor George Osborne's previous cat, Freya, who moved into 11 Downing Street with the family in 2010.

Freya regularly crossed four lanes of traffic to frequent the Red Lion pub and was once carried back from Trafalgar Square by a Number 10 aide.

She went missing in May 2014, turning up lost and frightened in Vauxhall a mile and a half away, before having to be taken to a vet three months later when she was knocked down by a car on Whitehall.

The Chancellor reportedly decided she was becoming too much of a liability and sent her to live in the Kent countryside - just months after the Osborne family fell in love with a new pet, a Bichon Frise dog named Lola.