A "chief mouser" has joined the Foreign Office in a bid to tackle Whitehall's rodent problem.

Palmerston, a two-year-old domestic short hair cat, has joined the team from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

He was an underweight stray with no microchip when he was taken in by the charity, but today he has taken up the privileged position at the heart of government.

Palmerston has been named after two-time British PM Henry John Temple, the 3rd Viscount Palmerston, who served as leader in the mid-19th century.

Palmerston is HM Diplomatic Service's newest arrival and in the role of FCO chief mouser will assist our pest controllers in keeping down the number of mice in our King Charles Street building.


Battersea's Head of Catteries, Lindsey Quinlan told Newsbeat: "He's a very confident cat, loves being with people, and enjoys a good chin rub."

The cat even has his own Twitter account, attracting more than 300 followers within an hour of his account being activated.

Palmerston isn't the only high-powered feline to stalk the corridors at Whitehall, the prime minister and the chancellor are both proud cat owners.

David Cameron's cat Larry Credit: PA
The chancellor's cat Freya Credit: PA