Paw-der paw-der! Speaker's cat Patrick elected nation's Purr Minister

26 OCTOBER 2020

27 October 2020

After weeks of campaigning from some of the nation’s greatest pawlitical minds, the search for Battersea’s Purr Minister 2020 is over. The much-loved animal welfare charity has today named Patrick, belonging to Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, as the winner of their public vote.

Despite some fierce competition from his fellow ‘catidates’, Patrick’s ‘Manifursto’ pledges of ‘impurrtiality’, ‘a better work/mouse balance’ and ‘purrtection for all’ proved incredibly popular with the electorate.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons and Patrick’s proud owner, said: “While it is undoubtedly a bit of fun to receive this title for Patrick – and goodness knows we need it in these difficult times – I am so pleased it has been awarded by Battersea, whose work in helping animals in need is well known and deserves our full support.

“Patrick was up against a tough field of well-loved cats, but I think his personality and beauty won over members of the public, who I must thank for all their support in electing him. Patrick is a big part of my family, and I love having him with me – be it in my constituency of Chorley, or in Westminster. He has already developed a reputation as ‘Commons mouser in chief’ - which in itself is a full-time job – but will do his best to continue supporting other animal causes, now he is Westminster’s Purr Minister.”

Battersea runs the annual Purr Minister competition to celebrate all of the things that make cats such great pets, as well as an opportunity to highlight vital animal welfare issues. This year saw a 200% increase in the number of votes since the last competition in 2018, making it one of the most popular Purr Minister elections yet.

Battersea’s Head of Catteries and Feline Welfare, Lindsey Quinlan, said: “We have been blown away by the amount of public support this year’s candidates have received. Every cat was clearly very special and had something to offer as the next Purr Minister, but the people have spoken and we are thrilled to name Patrick as the winner.

“In what has been a very complicated year for everyone, we hope our fun competition has provided some light relief, while also highlighting important animal welfare issues and the vital work Battersea is doing to help animals in need.”

The other ‘cat-idates’ in the running for Purr Minister were:

  • Bertie, owned by Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon
  • Charlotte, owned by Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth
  • Collar, owned by Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes
  • Hattie, owned by Jamie Stone, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
  • Hobbes, owned by Wendy Chamberlain, MP for North East Fife
  • May, owned by Baroness Blackstone, Labour peer
  • Poppy, owned by Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South
  • Rojo, owned by John Nicolson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire
  • Toby, owned by David Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

Patrick succeeds Purr Minister Alfie, owned by former Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd, who was elected in 2018.

For further information about the competition or to find out how you can support Battersea’s work with cats, please visit


Photos of Patrick and his owner Sir Lindsay Hoyle can be downloaded here.

For more information and images please email

Notes to editors 

  • The Purr Minister election is open to all current members of either House of Parliament.
  • Public voting ran from 1 October to 22 October.
  • Since Battersea was founded 160 years ago, we’ve been committed to helping every dog and cat that needs us - championing their rights, loving their imperfections and expertly caring for them. Because rescue is our favourite breed.
  • Battersea directly helps over 5,000 dogs and cats across its three centres and uses its expertise, influence, and voice to help thousands more animals all over the country and across the world.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at Battersea, but the average stay for a dog is 34 days and 25 days for a cat.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • To donate to Battersea, visit
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or