Commons Speaker John Bercow is often in the doghouse with Tory MPs.
Some of his harshest critics might even say he’s barking.
But now a Cabinet minister has likened the Speaker to a springer spaniel, a gun dog described by experts as “an affectionate, excitable breed”.
The canine comparison was made by the Leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, during the regular Thursday session of questions on next week’s business.
The exchanges began when Conservative MP Rebecca Pow, a former farming journalist, told MPs the Westminster Dog of the Year takes place in a fortnight’s time.
“It does help promote animal welfare and if the Leader of the House has a spare moment on 26 October, I know the Dogs Trust would welcome a late entry,” she said.
“Indeed, Mr Speaker might think about coming along as well.”
Occasionally one to bite off more than he can chew, Mr Bercow immediately got up on his hind legs and replied: “I wasn’t proposing to enter myself – and I don’t have a dog.”
He then revealed: “We have a cat called Order. My son has a tortoise.”
Ms Leadsom then told Mr Bercow: “I see you as something of a springer spaniel myself.”
And she lamented with a hangdog expression: “Sadly I don’t have a dog so I’m not sure I could qualify either, or even a tortoise, but I’d love to have both but life seems to get in the way.”
The winner of last year’s Dog of the Year – a competition described as “fur-ocious” – was Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds, with his Labradoodles Clinton and Kennedy, who were only the second Labour winners in nine years.
Woof! Woof! Forget Brexit. This is paw-litical issue that gets MPs straining at the leash.
(c) Sky News 2017: MPs get paw-litical as Speaker John Bercow is put in doghouse