There’s no cat-napping for a lobbyist on a double mission to Downing Street

It’s that time of year again – not Christmas but the finalising of the 2013 Biba manifesto. This is always a busy time of year as we consult with our members, regions and committees to focus on the key issues affecting UK brokers.

The manifesto is our calling card with governmental bodies and copies now reside in all the key places in Westminster, Canary Wharf and Brussels.

Biba’s public affairs work has increased dramatically in the past few years. With so many insurance issues making the headlines, much work remains to be done, and when our recent member survey asked “What should Biba’s focus be?”, 73% replied representing brokers to government.

A recent highlight for this lobbyist was a trip to 10 Downing Street and although the popularity of officials in Downing Street ebbs and flows over a term of office, there is one Downing Street resident whose popularity is always high: Larry the cat, chief mouser to the Cabinet Office.

When visiting Downing Street, it’s amazing how many people ask not whether you are seeing David Cameron, but ask you to take a picture of Larry.

Working at a trade association can be difficult, in the spotlight and open to criticism. Similarly, even Larry has suffered his share of good and bad press, with accusations of chillaxing too much and not having the killer instinct of George Osborne’s cat Freya. But when Larry made his first kill this summer, his place in the corridors of power was secured.

So, I entered the famous door at no 10 charged with two missions: (i) deliver the manifesto; and (ii) photograph Larry.

Now, had Larry been outside the no 10 door, that would have been fine. But no, Larry was in the building, just inside the famous door, laying on the window sill, relaxing on his personalised blanket.

As I pulled out my iPhone to take the picture, an armed policeman firmly requested I immediately put it in the pigeon hole right next to Larry. The temptation was high: just one photo! However, the prospect of a trip to the Tower and failure to deliver the manifesto meant my co-workers back at the office had to go without their picture this time.

Biba always likes to push the boundaries and, with our 2013 manifesto, you won’t find us cat-napping on the job.

Season’s greetings to all our friends at Insurance Times and their readers.

Graeme Trudgill is head of corporate affairs at Biba.