BORDERS MSP Christine Grahame and her pooch Chloe were awarded second place at this year’s Holyrood Dog of the Year contest.

Run by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, the yearly event takes place in the Scottish Parliament gardens at Horse Wynd.

The politicians entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of devotion.

And Ms Grahame, who competed with a Pomeranian from Dogs Trust called Chloe, took second spot behind West of Scotland MSP Maurice Golden, with his three-month-old cocker spaniel Leo. Central Scotland MSP Mark Griffin came third with his beagle Alfie.

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust veterinary director, who was on the judging panel said: “What a tremendous day celebrating all the wonderful dogs at Holyrood.

"This is our second Holyrood Dog of the Year competition and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome, with so many MSPs taking part. It was an incredibly tough decision but Leo and Maurice really stood out for us and they should be very proud of their win. We would like to thank all the MSPs and the dogs for taking part.”

Bill Lambert from the Kennel Club added: “Congratulations to Leo and Maurice for placing first at Holyrood today.

"It was a really close competition and the pair clearly had a strong bond which really impressed the judges. All the MSPs and their dogs who took part were worthy winners and the competition is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the issues affecting man’s best friend today and highlights the unique relationships between MSPs and their dogs.

"We wish Leo all the best for the year ahead, reigning as Scotland’s top dog.”