MP’s labradoodle, Albert, will compete to become Westminster Dog of the Year

Albert and his owner, Stephen Morgan
Albert and his owner, Stephen Morgan
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AN MP’s prized pooch is set to battle it out to become Parliament’s top dog.

Albert Attlee, the labradoodle owned by Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, is taking part in the Dog’s Trust and Kennel Club’s Westminster Dog of the Year Competition.

Albert on the campaign trail earlier this year

Albert on the campaign trail earlier this year

On Thursday, Albert will compete alongside his fellow parliamentary canines in a public vote – organised to encourage an open dialogue on the importance of animal welfare.

The theme of the event will focus on training, behaviour and the vital skills which all dogs and their owners need to build strong relationships with each other.

Looking ahead to the competition, Mr Morgan said: ‘I can’t wait to bring Albert to Parliament to show him off and introduce him to his new colleagues. I hope the morning will be good fun and ultimately confirm what I have always suspected – that Albert is the greatest dog in history.

‘But this event also represents a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of dog welfare issues. The Animal and Plant Health Agency in partnership with the Dogs Trust have seized approximately 600 puppies at Dover since their initiative began. We really need tighter controls on puppy smuggling.’

Anyone can vote for Albert to win the competition, with additional judging on the day by representatives from the Dog’s Trust and the Kennel Club – which will review the contestants on their doggy deeds and winning personalities.

After all votes have been cast, one lucky pooch will take home the ultimate parliamentary privilege of the ‘Westminster Dog of the Year 2017’ title.

The judging panel that will determine which pooch wins the highly-desired crown includes last year’s winning dog owner Jonathan Reynolds MP, Stephen Jenkinson of the Kennel Club and Graeme Robertson from the Dog’s Trust.

The Westminster Dog of the Year 2017 competition takes place on Thursday, October 26 at Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. You can vote for Portsmouth pup Albert for Westminster Dog of the Year here.