The Labour Party swept to victory in the most important political battle of 2017 – the Westminster Dog Of The Year contest.
Tracy Brabin and her chocolate labrador, Rocky, took the crown at the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust-organised event on Thursday.
The duo beat tough competition from Taunton MP Rebecca Pow and rescue dog Bonnie, who came second, and women and equalities committee chair Maria Miller, who finished third with cockapoo Ted.
Brabin, who represents Batley and Spen, said seven-year-old Rocky is a “wonder dog”, who has been in her family since he was a puppy.
“He’s absolutely adorable,” she added.
“I am delighted to have won. He had such a fantastic day, meeting all the other ‘paw-litical’ candidates and I’m really thrilled that he managed to wag his way to victory. I am very proud that he has been part of an event that promotes responsible dog ownership.”
Albert didn’t win but we had lots of fun and raised the profile of animal welfare issues. We’ll be back! @DT_Pawlitical @KCLovesDogs pic.twitter.com/eujD10kMlT — Stephen Morgan MP (@StephenMorganMP) October 26, 2017
Also among the line-up was Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan – with grandly-named labradoodle Albert Attlee – and Alex Norris, of Nottingham North, whose furry pals Boomer and Corona won the ‘pawblic’ vote.
Morgan said while the competition was a bit of fun, it had a serious message.
″We know there are puppy smugglers out there and that is a real issue for me, as well as animal cruelty.
“I want to much tougher sentences for people who are cruel to animals.”
A dozen MPs in total took part – eight with the own pets and four with Dogs Trust rescue dogs, to highlight the plight of animals in need of homes.
Graeme Robertson, chairman of Dogs Trust, said: “We are thrilled with the number of MPs and commendable canines who competed for the title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2017.
“It’s always wonderful to see the bond between dogs and their owners and Rocky and Tracy really stood out for this very reason, not to mention their ‘paw-litical’ prowess. I would like to thank the MPs and their devoted dogs for taking part.”