Larry the cat, or Nova the dog? A hidden power struggle has been raging behind the scenes at Number 10 – and one has come out on top.
That is according to Rishi Sunak’s wife, who has given an insight into life at Downing Street in a rare interview.
Speaking to the Sky Kids FYI show, Akshata Murty said while she felt “honoured” to live in the famous residence, Nova, the family’s pet Labrador, is having “mixed emotions”.
Speaking from Number 10, Ms Murty said: “Nova has mixed emotions about (living here) because she sometimes doesn’t get on with Larry the Cat.
“And they’ve had some heated exchanges and Larry’s come out on top.
“So she might have some mixed opinions on living here.
“But, you know, our family is so grateful to be here.”
Larry (also known as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office), has resided in Number 10 for 12 years, remaining the one constant within an ever-changing government.
He has served as a trusted companion to five prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and now Mr Sunak, who came into office a year ago – bringing Nova along with him.
Ms Murty, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, said “not much has changed” since then.
FYI: Weekly News Show is from Sky Kids and the full interview can be seen on Sky News across the weekend
Asked what it’s like to be the wife of a prime minister, she said: “You know, I’ve had a busy life before. I’ve a busy life now.
“I think what’s been incredible is the range of opportunities that I’ve been exposed to… meeting really interesting people.”
Ms Murty has created an initiative – “Lessons at 10” – which invites children from across the UK to the prime minister’s residence to learn about the building’s history and the role of government.
She said: “Through the Lessons at 10 programme, meeting lots of young people every Friday, I really enjoy that and so for me, I look at it (being the prime minister’s wife) as a very special time in my life to help support my husband in the job he’s doing while opening up the doors to young people. “
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Ms Murty, a computer scientist and engineer who was the first woman to work for India’s largest carmaker, has also worked for her father’s tech empire Infosys, which she has a stake in, and has founded multiple businesses.
She and Mr Sunak married in 2009 after they met at Stanford University and have two young daughters.
While she has largely remained out of sight of the cameras since her husband’s rise to power, her wealth has come under scrutiny.
She was embroiled in a row about her non-dom tax status when Mr Sunak was chancellor – something Labour has sought to weaponise.