Political pooches compete to find Westminster's top dog

A Westminster tradition has seen the big dogs of politics lose out to an underdog as MPs' family pets competed for the Westminster Dog of the Year competition.

Charlie Elphicke with Star, the Westminster Dog of the Year 2012 winner Star
Charlie Elphicke with Star, the Westminster Dog of the Year 2012 Credit: Twitter / Greg Barker

Despite an illustrious list of entries from poodles to rottweilers and dachshunds, there could only be one winner and this year that honour was won by Star, a Norfolk terrier owned by the Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke.

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Entered for fun - amazed we won Westminster Dog of the Year is Star!

Environment minister Greg Barker with his political pooch Otto make friends
Environment minister Greg Barker with his political pooch Otto make friends Credit: Twitter / Greg Barker

The competition, which raises money for the Dogs Trust, is now in its twentieth year.

Past winners of the coveted prized have included:

  • Helen Grant MP Charile 2010
  • Andrew Mitchell Molly 2009
  • Lord Williams of Mostyn Bippy 2002
  • Lord Lucas Puffin 2001
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Charlie Elphicke was a worthy winner of dog of the year. Not Lola's year this year.

A despondent Otto after losing out in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition
A despondent Otto after losing out in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition Credit: Twitter / Greg Barker
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#Cholmeley came second in westminster dog of the year competition! Many thanks for support! http://t.co/Q3qUeHZx

Greg Barker with Otto and David Burrowes with Cholmeley
Greg Barker with Otto and David Burrowes with Cholmeley Credit: Twitter/ Greg Barker

The full list of this year's hopefuls:

  • David Amess MP & Lily and Beau
  • Gregory Barker MP & Otto
  • Angie Bray MP & Poppy
  • Lyn Brown MP & Cara
  • Jake Berry MP and Lola
  • Gordon Birtwistle MP & Biggles
  • Steve Brine MP & Popcorn
  • David Burrowes MP & Cholmeley
  • Therese Coffey MP & Rizzo
  • Jon Cruddas MP & Joni
  • Charlie Elphicke MP & Star
  • Lindsay Hoyle MP and Gordon
  • Martin Horwood MP & Pat
  • Edward Leigh MP & William
  • Penny Mordaunt MP & Penny Lane
  • Tessa Munt MP and Bella
  • Matthew Offord MP & Maximus
  • Claire Perry MP & Zinzan
  • Simon Reevell MP & George
  • Laurence Robertson MP and Sausage
  • Alec Shelbrooke MP & Boris
  • Andrew Turner MP & Buster
  • Charles Walker MP & Ambrose
Star, Cholmeley and Gordon celebrate
Star, Cholmeley and Gordon celebrate Credit: David Parry/PA Wire
Third place Gordon the Rottweiler belonging to Lindsay Hoyle MP, squares up to Ambrose, belonging to Charles Walker MP
Third place Gordon the Rottweiler belonging to Lindsay Hoyle MP, squares up to Ambrose, belonging to Charles Walker MP Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

Although the contest was not a walk in the park for everyone with one MP naming and shaming one mis-behaving pooch (and its owner):

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Well the big event at the Westminster Dog Show was @hendonmp 's dog peeing on my partner Nigel's trousers!