Boris Johnson has expressed concern about the “romantic urges” of an occupant of Downing Street – with the prime minister revealing his dog Dilyn has a liking for “people’s legs”.
The admission about the behaviour of his Jack Russell cross – which Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie adopted in 2019 – came as the prime minister spoke to dog handlers at Surrey Police headquarters in Guildford.
Mr Johnson questioned one officer about the behaviour of Zorro, a German Shepherd.
“Do you have to worry about his romantic urges?,” the prime minister asked.
After being told there were no such concerns, Mr Johnson replied: “My dog is endless…. on people’s legs.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who was accompanying the prime minister on the visit as the government set out its new Beating Crime Plan for England and Wales, laughed as Mr Johnson spoke about his own dog.
Dilyn’s behaviour in Downing Street previously made headlines in March 2020 when Mrs Johnson angrily denied a report that she and the prime minister could get rid of their dog.
The Times had reported Dilyn was quite a “sickly animal” and was set for a “reshuffle” out of Number 10.
The newspaper claimed the prime minister and Mrs Johnson had grown tired of the mess in their Downing Street apartment.
But Mrs Johnson branded the article “a load of total cr**”.
It was also previously reported that the prime minister’s ex-aide Dominic Cummings held a grudge against Dilyn because the dog once “humped his leg” during a Number 10 away day at Mr Johnson’s Chequers country residence.
Other claims made against Dilyn are that he “mounted” a stool at Chequers made from the foot of an elephant shot by US president Teddy Roosevelt.
And he has also previously been accused of urinating on an aide’s handbag after she arrived in Downing Street for a meeting.
In evidence to MPs earlier this year, Mr Cummings told MPs that – in March last year – Mrs Johnson was going “completely crackers” about a “completely trivial” article in The Times about Dilyn and “demanding that the press office deal with that”.
Mr Cummings suggested this was among a number of distractions for Mr Johnson at the start of the coronavirus crisis.