Next Thursday (26 October 2017), Redditch MP Rachel Maclean and her eight-year-old Jack Russell/Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, Phoebe, will take to Victoria Tower Gardens in London to compete with other politicians and their pooches, to try and win the coveted title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2017.

Organised jointly by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, the competition offers the unique chance for Rachel to show off her loyal four-legged friend of 18 months.

The theme of this year’s event focuses on training and behaviour and the vital skills all dogs and their owners need to build strong relationships with each other. As well as this, the competition encourages an open dialogue on important dog welfare issues.

Proud owner Rachel said: “Phoebe is my biggest supporter and a real part of the family. She deserves the centre stage after all her loyalty and service on the ‘pawlitical’ trail. She will always be a winner to me and has garnered quite a fan base when joining me out canvassing in Redditch.

“Phoebe does have great stamina – she never gets tired even on the longest walks, which is something essential for Parliamentarians too!”

MPs will be calling for their supporters to vote for their canine companion, in a bid to win the ‘paw-blic’ vote, with additional judging on the day by representatives from Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, who will review contestants on their heroic doggy deeds and winning personalities.

Details of MPs and dogs entered for this year’s Westminster Dog of the Year can be found atwww.thekennelclub.org.uk/westminsterdogoftheyear. You can also vote for Rachel and Phoebe here.