MPs' offices infested with mice
A number of MPs' offices are being over-run with mice, the Commons heard today.
Tory MP Pauline Latham said she wanted to ask for a debate about the problem, which was affecting her office, but feared so many other MPs would want to be take part it would take too long.
In a question to Commons leader Andrew Lansley, the MP for Mid Derbyshire said: " I was going to ask for a debate on the mice infestation in my office but I suspect there will be so many members scampering in to the chamber to take part, there wouldn't be time and so I am not going to ask for that."
In reply, Mr Lansley joked: "I will scurry to answer but I was just wondering if there were any traps in your question."
Speaking outside the chamber, the MP said she had returned from the Christmas recess to find the infestation of mice after she accidentally left some food on her desk in her office in Norman Shaw North (building) over the break.
A stricter cleaning regime had been implemented, Ms Latham said, adding she had now banned food from her office.
She said: "I came back from the break to find my desk covered in mice poo and urine. It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting.
"I had left something on the desk which they had shredded. They had obviously been everywhere. They had been living the life of Riley while I was away over Christmas.
"It was awful because I don't want to come in to the office. Some people like to work in the library but I like to have my own space. I just don't want to be here - I am frightened to be here and switch the lights on to see them scuttling away."
Ms Latham, who somewhat ironically used to keep pet mice as a child, said she was now urging other MPs with offices close by to make sure they reported any sightings of mice.
She added: "I can cope with mice outdoors but in my house or in my own space, I just can't bear it. Some people are like that with spiders.
"Mice are a health hazard and bring in diseases."