Energy minister takes his sausage dog to work and uses office microwave to heat up its cushion


Pampered pooch: Otto, the beloved dachshund belonging to Tory Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker

Energy minister Greg Barker has set Whitehall tongues wagging after using the office microwave to warm up his sausage dog’s cushion.
Civil servants working at the Department of Energy and Climate Change were aghast when the Conservative placed the bean-bag in the same microwave they use to heat their lunches. Mr Barker’s prized dachshund Otto has also interrupted a visit by the minister’s Colombian counterpart with an unscheduled toilet break, and was present in a recent meeting with energy firm bosses. An insider said: ‘When [Mr Barker] first arrived we had to watch our step, as the dog wandered around the office.
'We put up with that. But when he started using our microwave to keep the dog nice and snug with a heated cushion, it proved he thinks more of the dog than us.
'Some refused to use [the microwave] because of hygiene worries.'
A source close to Mr Barker insisted that Otto had been 'brilliant for bringing people together – essential when you are working in a coalition'.

Eccentric: Mr Barker brings the dog into work with him most days

They added: 'There is lots of research to show that pets are really good for combating stress.
‘He is the most popular member of the DECC ministerial team by a long way and has even had some fan mail.
'Otto really cheers the place up and most people love seeing him when they go to a meeting with the minister.
'They are disappointed when he isn’t there. He is well-behaved and very sociable.'
The source claimed the five-month-old puppy only comes to the office 'occasionally', with a dog-minder looking after him at home 'most days'.
They added that Otto’s 'puppy warmer', which he used as a newborn in the winter, was heated in the microwave 'just once' to ensure he did not get too cold.
Mr Barker and Otto are believed to have flouted rules that ban most dogs from parliament.
Only police and guide dogs are allowed in the Palace of Westminster, after a pesky pet soiled the Commons carpet in the Eighties.
Nevertheless, Mr Barker, who is close to David Cameron, has been seen parading Otto in New Palace Yard below Big Ben for comfort breaks.

source: dailymail