MP and her faithful pooch just miss out

IT was a case of Rex-factor rather than X-Factor yesterday as MPs took their faithful companions to the polls.

The 18th Westminster Dog of the Year competition was held in Victoria Tower Gardens. MPs paraded their pooches outside the Houses of Parliament in the hope of claiming top spot.

Among the hopefuls were Suffolk Coastal Conservative MP Therese Coffey and her 11-year-old Border Collie crossbreed Rizzo.

The pair, who both hit the campaign trail earlier this year, just missed out on first place.

Dr Coffey said: “Unfortunately it was a case of ‘must do better’. However, it was a lot of fun and we enjoyed it immensely.

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“We were all interviewed by the judges. It seemed to revolve around the work that MPs had done for dog welfare and unfortunately my own fundraisng for the Blue Cross animal charity in Felixstowe wasn’t quite enough.” The winning MP had done a lot of work in her local community promoting micro chipping.

“It was lovely to see all the dogs there and they were all very well behaved.”

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The contest, organised by Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club, was open to all dogs with a link to the Houses of Parliament.

Organisers said the aim of the competition was to highlight the link between dogs and their owners.

The competition was won by Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald, and her five-year-old border terrier Charlie.

The field featured canines including a miniature Dachshund and an enormous Newfoundland.

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