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Eight shortlisted cat-didates

Public vote open for the UK’s next Purr Minister in Battersea competition

The search for the UK’s next Purr Minister is now on as the public are urged to vote online to crown Westminster’s top cat.

Ten ‘cat-didates’ were shortlisted for the annual competition, hosted by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, which allows sitting MPs and Lords to nominate their cats for the official title of UK’s Purr Minister 2020.

Proud owners submitted pictures of their feline friends alongside a 50-word ‘manifursto’ setting out why they should get their claws on the title and publicity prize.

With 13 days of online campaigning left Battersea’s Head of Catteries and Feline Welfare, Lindsey Quinlan, noted the important roles that cats have adopted during the pandemic.

She said: “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.”

TOP CAT-DIDATES: Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s cat, Patrick and MP Jamie Stone’s cat, Hattie

From Caithness, one of the most northerly constituencies in Britain, to Cardiff, the shortlisted candidates include: Bertie, Charlotte, Collar, Hattie, Hobbes, May, Patrick, Poppy, Rojo and Toby.

This year’s ‘manifursto’s’ include a variety of pledges ranging from impawtiality and a better work/mouse balance, to establishing national tuna reserves at the Bank of England.

Notable owners of this year’s candidates include the likes of Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Labour peer, Baroness Blackstone.

The winner will follow in the steps of 2018’s Purr Minister, Alfie, who won 34% of the popular vote. He was nominated by Anne Clwyd, the former MP for Cynon Valley.

Alfie pledged to enforce compulsory reporting of cat deaths on roads and a permanent amnesty for mice, squirrels and birds on Sundays.

To ensure that your favourite cat secures the top job head over to the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home website to cast your vote.

The poll will close at 11.59pm on 22 October and the winning candidate will be announced across Battersea’s social media channels and website on 27 October.

As the countdown for the UK’s Purr Minister continues, the winner is bound to give No.10’s Chief Mouser, Larry, a run for his catnip.

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