Wetherby MP’s dog loses election

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke and Maggie. (S)

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke and Maggie. (S)

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Maggie, a one year old West Highland White Terrier, belonging to Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke just missed out on a place on the podium in the 21st annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition.

The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust organised contest took place in Westminster and Maggie showed dogged determination as she battled it out among 14 paw-litical opponents.

The MPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of devotion.

The judging panel - Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, and MP Charlie Elphicke, owner of 2012’s winning dog Star - spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.

Commenting on the 2013 Westminster Dog of the Year, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Again this year we have seen lots of worthy dogs compete for this title and the bond each MP has with their dog is uniquely special.

“It was a delight to meet Maggie with Alec, they provide a great example for responsible ownership.”

Mr Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said: “Last year I entered our other dog Boris, but despite the media hype he had no chance of winning.

“So, this year I’ve gone for a proven winner and entered Maggie.

“She enjoyed her day trip to London but I think, like me, she much prefers to countryside of Wetherby.”

The overall winner of the competition was Noodle, a crossbreed owned by Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton, who is the Minister for International Development.