Barking mad: UK PM's fiancee rubbishes pet dog story

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds are seen in this file combination photo. — Courtesy photo
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds are seen in this file combination photo. — Courtesy photo

LONDON — British leader Boris Johnson's fiancee on Wednesday branded reports the couple was set to rehome their pet dog "total crap", as they prepared for the birth of their first child together.

Carrie Symonds, who in February announced their engagement and that they were expecting a baby, wrote on Twitter that those behind the shaggy dog story "should be ashamed of themselves".

"What a load of total crap!" she wrote after The Times reported that Downing Street dog could be "quietly" rehomed.

"There has never been a happier, healthier and more loved dog than our Dilyn. 100% bs. The people behind this story should be ashamed of themselves," Symonds added.

She also secured the apparent support of former finance minister Sajid Javid's dog Bailey, which has a Twitter account under the handle @ExNumber11Dog.

"Have spoken to Dilyn and he says the story is barking," the dog's account said in reply to Symond's tweet.

Symonds, 31, and Johnson, 55, adopted Dilyn, a Jack Russell-cross, aged 15 weeks from a Welsh rescue center last September shortly after they moved into Downing Street.

The prime minister, who had taken office in July, swept to an emphatic victory in the December election, with Dilyn often joining Symonds on the campaign trail.

The premier has previously declared Dilyn "a most excellent animal" but the Times, citing sources, said the couple had "grown weary" of him.

The paper added Dilyn had proved "quite a sickly animal" and frequently defecated in the apartment they share above Johnson's Downing Street office.

"For a while there was dog shit everywhere in the flat," a source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The disputed report is not the first story about a Downing Street pet to be dubbed fake.

Last year, government insiders pushed back on reports that Larry, the Downing Street cat, was due to be retired from his role as "chief mouser".

The beloved feline — who has a spoof Twitter account, under the handle @Number10cat — was adopted by ex-premier David Cameron's staff in 2011 to rid the building of mice. — AFP


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