Westminster Dog of the Year competition launched

Thursday, 27th September 2012

The annual competition for political dog owners is now open for votes as the Westminster Dog of the Year is launched.

In total, 25 MPs and their dogs will be taking part in the competition, which is open for the public vote for the first time this year.

Last year, Neil Parish’s Labrador Wilberforce took the award, which is jointly run by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust.

Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, explains: "The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is so much more than a canine beauty pageant.

"The competition is strictly apolitical; judges will be looking for the dogs' good deeds and devotion to their owner - rather than policies, opinions or 'bottle'."

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, added that the competition is held to highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership and welfare issues.

One previous winner who is not competing this year is Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell MP, whose Springer Spaniel Molly won in 2009.