A Hamsphire MP and his dog have norrowly missed out in one of the House of Commons intense political battles.

Popcorn, a nine-year-old Labrador belonging to Steve Brine MP for Winchester, took part in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition hosted by Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club.

The competition, which is celebrating its 20th year, took place  at Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster.

Popcorn showed dogged determination as he battled it out against 24 opponents, but was narrowly defeated by Star, a Norfolk Terrier owned by Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal.

The competing MPs campaigned hard, canvassing for votes amongst their constituents before meeting the expert judges to show off their dogs’ heroic deeds and acts of political doggy devotion.

Each four-legged running mate then took part in a “Doggy Dash” towards their MP owner, in a bid to achieve the fastest time and to demonstrate that they were truly man’s best friend.

The judging panel - Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club and 2011’s winning owner Neil Parish MP - spent the morning judging canine competitors from all political persuasions, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat.