Dogged determination but no prize for MP’s dog Otto

Otto, MP Greg Barker's dog
Otto, MP Greg Barker's dog

Otto, a Miniature Dachshund belonging to local MP Greg Barker, has narrowly missed out in one of the most intense political battles to grace Westminster, the 20th Westminster Dog of the Year Competition.

Otto showed dogged determination as he battled it out with 22 political opponents, but was defeated by Star, a Norfolk Terrier owned by Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal, at Victoria Gardens in Westminster.

A spokesperson said, “The MPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes amongst their constituents before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of political doggy devotion.

“Each four-legged running mate then took part in a “Doggy Dash” towards their MP owner, in a bid to achieve the fastest time and to demonstrate that they were truly man’s best friend.”

The judging panel – Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club and 2011’s winning dog Wilberforce with his owner MP Neil Parish – spent the morning with dogs from all political persuasions, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, caring for over 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs each year through its network of 18 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin.

Mr Barker is MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency, which covers Pevensey and Herstmonceux.