Canine Candidate, Noodle, Is Crowned Westminster Dog Of The Year

There was a worthy winner in Westminster today as Noodle, an 11 month old Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross, belonging to Alan Duncan MP for Rutland and Melton, triumphed in the 21stannual Westminster Dog of the Year competition.

The competition, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, took place today (Thursday 10thOctober), in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. Noodle showed dogged determination as she battled it out to defeat 13 paw-litical opponents to be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year.

The MPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog's heroic deeds and acts of devotion. For the first time, the competition had a winner decided solely from this fought for public vote which was Brodie, an Irish Wheaten Terrier owned by MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce.

MP, Alan Duncan, said of his Westminster Dog of the Year champion: "I am absolutely thrilled to bits to have won Westminster Dog of the Year. Noodle is a playful and well behaved dog which caught the judges eye and I am very proud of her. I really like this competition as it highlights the importance of responsible dog ownership."

The judging panel - Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, and MP Charlie Elphicke, owner of 2012's winning dog Star - spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.

Commenting on the reasons Noodle was selected as the 2013 Westminster Dog of the Year, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary says: "Again this year we have seen lots of worthy dogs compete for this title and the bond each MP has with their dog is uniquely special. It was a difficult decision to make but Noodle and Alan struck a chord with us all and are clearly popular with their constituents too. Well done to Noodle, you truly deserve the title of Westminster Dog of the Year."

Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust continued: "It is fantastic to see so many wonderful dogs in attendance with their devoted owners. It seems to get harder every year to pick the winner. I loved Alan's answer to the question, what Noodle would do if she were Prime Minister? His answer was that she would allow a dog to be a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize."

Leading the opposition in second place was Harry, a Fox Terrier owned by MP for Dewsbury, Simon Reevell, with third place awarded to Cholmeley, a Labrador owned by MP for Enfield Southgate, David Burrowes.

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