MPs line up to compete in Westminster Dog of the Year
CANDIDATES for the popular Westminster Dog of the Year competition are now in, and voters are being lobbied by their MP owners.
The contest, organised by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, will take place on September 8 in Victoria Tower Gardens next to the House of Lords in London’s Westminster – a month earlier than usual.
Members of the major political parties and their canine companions will be vying for victory in the annual contest, which raises awareness of the issues affecting dogs today and highlights the unique relationships between our MPs and their pets.
This year's competition will focus on the importance of animal welfare in education and teaching children how to interact safely with their dogs.
The contestants this year are Nigel Adams and a Labradoodle, Lisa Cameron, French Bulldog; Alex Chalk, Dogs Trust rescue dog; Rebecca Harris, lurcher, Craig Mackinlay Labrador; Chris Matheson, Cavalier; Jonathan Reynolds, labradoodle; Antoinette Sandbach, working Cocker Spaniel; Liz Saville-Roberts, German Shepherd; Michelle Thomson, Border Terrier; Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Cocker; Anna Turley, Shih Tzu; Bill Wiggin, Labrador; Craig Williams, Welsh Springer; Daniel Zeichner, Dogs Trust rescue dog; and Amanda Milling, Jeremy Lefory, Andrew Griffiths, Christopher Pincher, Gavin Williamson, Bill Cash and Michael Fabricant who have all nominated Staffordshire Regimental mascot, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Dogs Trust’s chief executive Adrian Burder said: "The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is so much more than a canine beauty pageant. It’s is strictly apolitical; judges will be looking for the dog’s good deeds and devotion to their owner - rather than policies, opinions or 'bottle'."
KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: "The serious side of this competition is about MPs getting together with the KC and Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership and develop a partnership on dog welfare issues.
“The competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining day out – not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!"
In addition to the climax of the competition, the winner of a public vote will be announced on the day. Voting is now open and details of MPs and dogs entered can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/westminsterdogoftheyear.
Pictured above are the joint winners of last year’s contest, Godiva and Lady with owner MP Andrea Jenkyns.