Fur Flies as Cats hit the Campaign Trail in bid to win Purr Minister 2020 VOTE

Across the nation, paw-litical cats have today (1 October) begun prowling on the campaign trail, catching the public’s hearts and hunting for votes for Battersea’s Purr Minister competition.

Over the last few weeks, politicians and peers from around the UK have put their feline friends forward, submitting photos and a ‘Manifursto’ explaining why they believe their pet should be voted top cat of Westminster.

Today, Battersea has revealed the ten final ‘cat-idates’ hoping to get your vote:

  • Bertie, submitted by Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon
  • Charlotte, submitted by Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth
  • Collar, submitted by Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes
  • Hattie, submitted by Jamie Stone, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
  • Hobbes, submitted by Wendy Chamberlain, MP for North East Fife
  • May, submitted by Baroness Blackstone, Labour peer
  • Patrick, submitted by Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley and Speaker of the House of Commons
  • Poppy, submitted by Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South
  • Rojo, submitted by John Nicolson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire
  • Toby, submitted by David Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

Battersea’s Head of Catteries and Feline Welfare, Lindsey Quinlan, said: Battersea’s Purr Minister competition is back with a bang for its sixth year. The candidate shortlist is very impressive, and the competition will undoubtedly be fierce.

“This year, many of our Purr Minister candidates have been supervising their owners’ work during lockdown, whether that’s making cameos on Zoom or taking a nap on important documents – so it’s time they get the recognition they deserve. It’s also an opportunity to shine the spotlight on some important animal welfare issues.

“At Battersea we believe that every cat is special, but there can be only one winner and we can’t wait to see who the public chooses to be their new furry leader.”

The incumbent Purr Minister, Alfie, owned by former Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd, is expected to commit to a peaceful transferral of power when the votes come in and a new Purr Minister is elected on 27 October.

Members of the public can now show their support by voting for their top cat. Voting will close at 23:59 on 22 October.

Vote for your favourite feline at https://www.battersea.org.uk/about-us/news/who-will-you-crown-purr-minister-2020. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 27 October.

The full list of Purr Minister 2020 candidates and their ‘Manifurstos’ can be found below.

Bertie

Owned by Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon

Bertie arrived as a rescue kitten along with his brother and mother.  From the start he has been the purrfect cat. He is good natured, friendly and endlessly obliging, appearing in election photos, and providing purrlitical support to the Hammond family during difficult lockdown days.  An excellent feline friend!

Charlotte

Owned by Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

I’m a three-year-old rescue Tortie- I know how tough it is for my fellow felines. We need tougher sentences for animal cruelty, more microchipping, and we want to help our humans fight loneliness – we’re happy to be the purrscription! Cats aren’t selfish – we love you!

Collar

Owned by Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes

Being a stray and someone who didn’t have a home, I searched high and low to find someone to love me, look after me and be my servants. I was lucky as I found a loving home which already had cats, so I have allowed them to look after me.

Hattie

Owned by Jamie Stone, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

Hattie is my Cattie. Famous – thanks to Battersea. She signed the cruelty pledge, but murders mice in our hedge. Will you forgive my darling Hattie? Purrminister naturally, never ratty! She will knead your knee like dough, that is why I love her so.

Hobbes

Owned by Wendy Chamberlain, MP for North East Fife

I’m named for the cartoon character and not the philosopher, but the social contract is purrly on my terms:

– Enshrine animal sentience in UK law – a furball no-

brainer

– Guarantee a cosy sleeping place of our choosing –

usually not the pet bed

– Let us lick your toast – that might just be me

May

Owned by Baroness Blackstone, Labour peer

I may be the youngest candidate but I am as able as the very young William Pitt. I am charismatic, determined, and adventurous notably in my tree climbing. My popularity with local cats is unbounded. If elected I will deliver peace, prosperity and justice for them, purring as I do so.

Patrick

Owned by Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley

I’m Patrick, the Speaker’s cat – guaranteed to keep Order! Order! in the House. As your Purr Minister I promise:

– Impurrtiality

– To catch your eye

– A better work/mouse balance

– Empawment for staff

– Purrtection for all

– Claws for cats

– Regular repawts

– No fur flying in the chamber

– Feline fine moments for everyone

Poppy

Owned by Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South

Poppy proves that black cats are lucky, as she’s excellent at catching mice and keeping critters in check across the political jungle. As a good Stoke-on-Trent cat she supports the purrcelin industry, and if elected would establish national tuna reserves at the Bank of England.

Rojo

Owned by John Nicolson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire

Let’s face it, I’m the cream of this crop. I empower gingers everywhere by sabotaging boring House of Commons Zoom meetings with my fabulous bushy tail. I’m now a heartthrob in Japan. My catifesto will deliver indepurrdence for Scotland and get us back into the Me-EU. Vote Rojo.

Toby

Owned by David Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

Sitting on the fence is not really my thing, so my agenda as Purr Minister is: Digital government – ‘Lap-eroo’, an app for cats bringing a comfy lap on demand. Pawprint activated, no thumbs required. I support the green agenda, especially where there are sunny patches in the garden to lie in.

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