Political figures are celebrating after Sir David Amess’s dog Vivienne was named Westminster Dog of the Year today.

The three-year-old French bulldog won the competition after members of the public called for it to win in tribute to the MP, who was stabbed to death in his constituency earlier this month.

Vivienne was entered into the annual competition, which promotes responsible dog ownership, before the MP died.

As part of the entry, Sir David had said Vivienne “lifts my spirits as she is always pleased to see me and she makes me smile”.

He added: “Every time I walk into the room Vivienne throws herself at me, lies on their back with her legs in the air to be tickled.

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“But before that she always brings a toy so she is of a generous, giving nature.”

The Southend West MP also described himself as a “great animal lover” on his website, something that was reflected in his record in Parliament.

He was responsible for introducing the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act in 1988, campaigned to stop the testing of domestic products on animals, tackled the illegal wildlife trade and fought for an end to puppy farming, according to his website.

He opposed the culling of badgers and was one of the few Tory MPs in favour of a foxhunting ban.

In his most recent Commons intervention, on September 23, he called for a debate on “animal welfare generally, cruelty to animals and the welfare of farmyard animals” to mark World Animal Day on October 4.

The Tory veteran was a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and won the Dods Animal Welfare and Environment Award in 2011 for his work on the issue.

He also regularly judged at local dog shows and supported various local animal charities.

MPs and friends of the late MP Andrew Rosindell and Mark Francois attended the show to collect the honour on Amess’s behalf. Now, following Vivienne’s success, people posted in support of Amess and his dog.

The Kennel Club said Vivienne had been the “runaway winner” out of more than 20 entrants.

Boris Johnson said:

And here’s how others reacted:

MPs had been urged to vote for Vivienne in the competition, with Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell telling the Commons earlier this week that there could be no better tribute to Sir David.

He told MPs: “As our dear friend David Amess said in June about the Kept Animals Bill: ‘I hope the House will come together, support the Bill, and get it quickly onto the statute book’.

“I could think of no better tribute to him and to the animals across the United Kingdom which he so adored.”

Anna McMorrin, the Labour MP for Cardiff North, who entered her dog Cadi, said: “As much as we all love Cadi, please support me by voting for Sir David Amess and his beautiful French bulldog, Vivienne. David’s love for animals was unmatched. He will be sorely missed.”

Suzanne Webb, the Conservative MP for Stourbridge, whose dog Sid was competing, also urged people to vote for Vivienne.

The deputy speaker Nigel Evans said: “I think one thing is absolutely certain, that had the tragedy not befallen David recently he would have been in this debate today championing animal rights, which was so close to his heart.”

In further tributes, Southend was awarded city status by Boris Johnson, something Amess had campaigned for.

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