Politicians and their unusual pets

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson famously kept a pet tarantula on his desk

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Gavin Williamson's recent departure from the cabinet has once again brought attention to the story of his pet tarantula, Cronus. 

The arachnid - named after the Greek god who castrated his father and ate his children - was kept on the former defence secretary's desk in a glass tank.

But he is not the only politician with an unusual pet...


Philip Hammond and his 'terrier about town'

The chancellor's Welsh terrier Rex and wire-haired dachsund Oscar are Instagram stars, with their own account called 'terrierabouttown'.

The account originally starred just Rex, who is described as a "king" who loves "walking, shopping and eating out!", before the arrival of his "canine brother" Oscar.

The account was made private shortly after it was uncovered by the press in 2016.


Mike Amesbury's nod to Jeremy Corbyn

Mike Amesbury with Corbyn. Image: Mike Amesbury/Facebook

The Labour MP for Weaver Vale owns a dog called Corbyn, who took the top prize in the 2018 Westminster Dog of the Year show.

The cockapoo was named by the shadow employment minister's son, and Amesbury revealed that canine Corbyn and the Labour leader have actually met - via video link.


Gavin Williamson's legendary tarantula

Tarantula Cronus. Image: Gavin Williamson/Instagram

Gavin Williamson's pet tarantula, Cronus, became such a prominent feature in Westminster that it was interviewed by Tatler magazine.

"Yesterday I ate Philip Hammond. I crunched his head right off," Cronus was quoted saying.

The Mexican redknee tarantula was reportedly kept on the former chief whip's desk in a bid to intimidate MPs and keep them in line.


Jeremy Corbyn's imaginatively named cat

The Labour leader has a cat called 'El Gato', which when translated to English simply means 'the cat'.

Corbyn once joked he thought the cat was "a Tory", because it displayed a "disappointing individualism and lack of concern for others". 


David Burrowes and his floating dog

A row erupted over the photo. Image: Enfield Southgate Conservatives

The former Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate and his dog Cholmeley were at the centre of a Photoshop row, after a picture emerged in which the dog appeared to be floating.

It was argued that David Burrowes and Cholmeley were not in the original photo, which showed a group of people campaigning about a dangerous junction in London, and were added in afterwards.

However, labrador Cholmeley is a star in his own right as a regular contender in the Westminster Dog of the Year awards.