MP Graham Stuart backs campaign against Lincoln the cat's ban from Hornsea Tesco

An MP has called on Tesco bosses to overturn a ruling banning a well-known cat from a town's store.

Lincoln, known as the Tesco Cat, became a favourite with shoppers – and a famous face on social media – after regular visits to the shop in Hornsea, East Yorkshire.

However, the much-loved pet was banned earlier this month because of "health and safety" concerns.

It prompted threats of a boycott from some customers.

Now Graham Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, has started a petition calling for the "unfair ban" to be reversed.

He claimed Lincoln had been welcome at the store until a "sudden change of heart" by the management team saw him "manhandled and thrown off of the premises".

Mr Stuart said: "It's not right that Lincoln has been removed from his perch atop the compost at Tesco in Hornsea.

"He’s not hurting anyone and he brings joy to the community."

The MP has written a letter to Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco, and the store management to demand that Lincoln be allowed back onto the bags of compost in the store's foyer, where he would often greet shoppers.

Lincoln's owner Lorraine Clarke said she was "amazed" that her pet's plight had been noticed by her local MP.

She added: "Lincoln is so much more than just a cat. He brings joy to so many people, not just locally but globally now too."

Tesco has been approached for comment.

In a previous statement, the company acknowledged Lincoln was "somewhat of a local celebrity" who colleagues and customers liked to see in the store.

It added: "However for health and safety reasons, if he makes his way inside our colleagues will gently encourage him out again."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.

news flash