Never a day goes by without politicians barking at each other and getting hot under the collar about some great issue or other.
So Mrs Margaret Mitchell, Scottish Conservative and Unionist list MSP for Central Scotland, is among politicians from the various parties looking forward to an altogether more edifying Holyrood contest which takes place on May 8.
Her four-year-old West Highland Terriers Jack and Jamie will compete with other MSPs ‘ pooches for the first ever title of Holyrood Dog of the Year.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes will be helping their MSP owners to strut their stuff as they head to the Scottish Parliament gardens at Horse Wynd, Edinburgh, to see who will be crowned top
“pawlitical” dog at this fascinating new event.
Organised jointly by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, the competition – to be staged in Holyrood’s Horse Wynd – offers the unique chance for Margaret Mitchell MSP to show off her loyal four-legged friends.
Following the apparent success of the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust’s annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition, Holyrood Dog of the Year will aim to promote responsible dog ownership and encourage open dialogue on dog welfare issues in Scotland.
It will also provide an opportunity for MSPs to meet with dog welfare experts to discuss all aspects of the dog world.
Mrs Mitchell said: “Jack and Jamie are great company, very much part of the family and my biggest supporters. “They deserve to be centre stage after all of their loyalty and service on the political trail.
“They will always be winners to me, and prove to be a good talking point in Central Scotland when I’m out leafletting and canvassing.”
MSPs will also be calling for their supporters to vote for them, in a bid to win the “pawblic” vote,
The judging panelincludes Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, Bill Lambert, Kennel Club representative, and Scottish Conservative and Unionist party leader Ruth Davidson, the event sponsor.
Ms Davidson, said: “I’m delighted to be hosting the first-ever Holyrood Dog of the Year.
“This fun event will be a great chance to celebrate the essential work MSPs are doing to improve dog welfare in Scotland, and will be a fantastic opportunity to highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership.
“My dog Wilson and I are excited to be judging.
“The standard of candidates is excellent and we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone - people and pooches - on the day.”
Details of MSPs and dogs entered for Holyrood Dog of the Year can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/holyrooddogoftheyear