BOROUGH MP Angela Smith has won the prestigious ePolitix Charity Champion Awards for her animal welfare work, recognising her as "The parliamentarian who has done the most to address issues concerning the protection and welfare of animals."

The award was presented by actress Jenny Seagrove at a ceremony hosted by Esther Rantzen.

Mrs Smith was nominated by the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS), a charity campaigning against the use of animals in circuses and other forms of entertainment, of which she is a patron.

The Basildon and East Thurrock MP said: “I am absolutely delighted to be honoured in this way, and grateful to the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, of which I am proud to be a patron, for nominating me.

"Animal welfare has always been one of the biggest subjects in my postbag since I was elected as an MP, and I became a patron of the CAPS because I can rely on the scientific evidence they produce to add to the moral arguments against the use of captive animals in entertainment.”

Despite her exceptionally busy role in Parliament and her strong commitment towards her constituency, Angela is still able to devote time to animals, which is testament to her strength of feeling on the issue.

She not only strongly supports CAPS’ campaign to end animal use in circuses but has spoken out passionately against seal-hunting, whaling and the cull of badgers, to name but a few issues.

Garry Sheen, Development Director for CAPS, said: “CAPS nominated Angela for the award, and we are proud to have her as a patron. For us, this is further evidence that CAPS is recognised as a charity that politicians can rely upon.”