New winner of Sir David Amess Pawblic Vote Award

West Bromwich East MP, Nicola Richards, and her nine-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pablo, have emerged victorious today after being voted by the public as winners of the 2022 Westminster Dog of the Year ‘Pawblic’ vote award.

As part of the annual Westminster Dog of the Year event run by The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, this year the public vote prize was renamed the Sir David Amess Pawblic Vote Award, to commemorate Sir David, who was a dedicated dog lover and carried out extensive work to improve and protect dog welfare throughout his life.

The Westminster Dog of the Year competition encourages an open dialogue on dog welfare issues, as well as providing an opportunity for MPs to engage with experts to discuss all aspects of the canine world. The theme for Westminster Dog of the Year 2022 focused on fireworks, which can sadly cause great distress to dogs throughout the year, with the aim to both raise awareness of how dog owners can minimise the stress felt by their pets and explore what the Government can do to better regulate the use of fireworks across the UK.

This year’s event, which was due to take place in person on Thursday 15 September, was cancelled as the world mourned the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, who was also Royal Patron of both Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club.

Despite the cancellation, the public still took to the polls to crown the winner of the Sir David Amess Pawblic Vote Award, with Pablo beating 25 paw-litical opponents to be named as the top dog.

Winning MP, Nicola said of the pair’s success: “It’s an absolute honour for Pablo to win this prestigious competition. Last year’s winner – Sir David Amess’ dog Vivienne – was always going to be a tough act to follow, but I hope we’ve done the competition justice.

“I’d also like to congratulate all the other dogs that entered this year’s competition. There were some fantastic pets in the running which just goes to highlight what a dog-loving nation we really are.

“It’s at this time of year that I begin to worry about the stress and anxiety that dogs go through when it comes to the unnecessary use of fireworks throughout the year. Of course, people should be allowed to use fireworks at important times of celebration – such as Bonfire Night, Diwali and New Year’s Eve – but we should all consider the severe impact the casual and constant use of fireworks throughout the year has on our beloved pets.”

Second place was awarded to Hattie and Nadia Whittome MP with Clemmie and Peter Gibson MP in third place.

Find out more about the Westminster Dog of the Year competition.