Westminster Dog of the Year contest is cancelled today over fears for pets’ safety due to protests outside Parliament
- Kennel Club and Dogs Trust cancelled Westminster Dog of the Year competition
- Event will not run this year over safety fears amid protests around Parliament
- Winning dog and MP is still set to be announced, based purely on public votes
The Westminster Dog of the Year contest has been cancelled over fears for the safety of MPs and their pets.
The Kennel Club axed the competition, which was set to take place in London today, amid an increase in protests around Parliament.
The top prize was won last year by Alex Norris, MP for Nottingham North, with his border collies Boomer and Corona.
Left, Former culture minister and Tory rebel Ed Vaizey – who defied Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week – was set to take part with his dog Pepper. Right, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, also entered his dog Hercules
Alex Norris MP (centre) with his dogs Corona (black) and Boomer who were named as winners of the 26th Westminster Dog of the Year competition in 2018
Leave and Remain demonstrators on College Green near Parliament on September 3
Entrants: MP Anna McMorrin’s nine-month-old cocker spaniel, Cadi. Right, Sir David Amess’s French bulldog, Vivienne
The dog show, generally takes place in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the House of Lords.
Some 19 dogs with owners from across the political spectrum were set to take part in the event.
Former culture minister and Tory rebel Ed Vaizey – who defied Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week – was set to take part this year.
James Cleverly, the Conservative Party chair, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, also entered their canine companions in the contest.
Last year, a Cockapoo named after the Labour leader saw off competition from 13 others to take home the trophy of people’s champion at Westminster Dog of the Year 2018.
His owner Mike Amesbury, Labour MP for Weaver Vale in Cheshire, and his wife promised their son Ted, eight, that he could get a dog if they won the election last year, and he chose to name him Corbyn.
Hopeful Nigel Adams MP and Katya, the Welsh Cardigan Corgi. Right, James Cleverly MP and Coco the border terrier
Anna Turley entered Clem, the nine-year-old Shih Tsu in this year’s competition
Carol Monaghan MP for Glasgow North West entered with Jean, a Staffordshire bull terrier/Collie cross
Rebecca Harris MP and Lola the five year old Saluki. Entering her dog, the MP said: ‘Lola loves to play with my son and always looks so graceful when she runs. She is a very affectionate and sweet dog. Lola is very photogenic and was pictured with me for the 209 Women exhibition’
Contestants: Dame Cheryl Gillan MP and her dog, Jimmi, a four and a half year old Havanese
In a statement the Kennel Club said: ‘The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust have taken the decision to cancel Westminster Dog of the Year next Thursday, 5th September.
‘This is due to concerns about the increase in protests around Parliament; ensuring the safety of the dogs and the MPs taking part is absolute priority.
‘The public have been voting for their favourite canine pairing candidate, so despite the event cancellation, the winner of the ‘pawblic’ vote will be announced in due course as the overall 2019 Westminster Dog of the Year.’
Carrie Symonds is pictured with Dilyn, a rescue dog she and Boris Johnson have adopted
A 15-week-old Jack Russell-cross puppy adopted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds arrives in Downing Street
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