Romford dog 'Spike' retires from active public life
THE MOST famous dog in British politics, Romford's very own, Union Jack sporting, Staffordshire Bull Terrier made his last official public appearance on Friday 21 December to mark the occasion of his retirement from public life.
Spike, who is now fourteen, has played a leading role in local and national politics since 1990 when he first visited the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, at Number 10, Downing Street.
Over more than a decade, Spike has played a central role in a multitude of election campaigns alongside his Master, Andrew Rosindell MP, including Glasgow Provan in the 1992 General Election, Chase Cross Ward of the London Borough of Havering in the local government elections of 1994 and 1998, Thurrock in the 1997 General Election and Romford in the 2001 General Election. He has also been a robust opponent of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, has campaigned on environmental issues and led the successful battle on 'flying the flag' in Romford.
Spike has also enjoyed an active media following, including coverage in local, regional and national press as well as features in OUR DOGS. His opinion regarding the Tory Leadership contest was sought by the BBC's Jeremy Paxman and the Evening Standard even tipped him for the top job himself!
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, Spike has even reached international superstardom in the political world, with a recent British delegation of Conservatives to the Ukraine being asked by a group of local activists, "ah, British Conservatives, how is Spike the dog?"
His most recent trip into the spotlight was winning third place in the Westminster Dog of the Year Competition hosted by the National Canine Defence League and the Kennel Club, in October.
Spike is now to retire and is looking forward to enjoying the freedom of old age, although the 'bulldog spirit' he brought to Romford will live on.
Andrew said: "It is very sad to see Spike leave the political stage, however he is now very old and deserves a well earned rest.
Spike sends his best wishes to everyone who has met him on the campaign trail over the past eleven years ."
Spike, sporting his Union Jack coat, was at 85 Western Road and was made available for a special Christmas photo-call to mark his retirement.