Dame Judi Dench and Downton Abbey stars support father’s campaign to stop illegal dog meat trade in Vietnam

Keith Taylor (near back, white shirt), at the House of Commons with celebrities who attended the briefing. Front from left: Lesley Nicol, Peter Egan (both actors in Downton Abbey), David Mills (conservationist and partner of Dame Judi Dench) and Dame Judi Dench.
Keith Taylor (near back, white shirt), at the House of Commons with celebrities who attended the briefing. Front from left: Lesley Nicol, Peter Egan (both actors in Downton Abbey), David Mills (conservationist and partner of Dame Judi Dench) and Dame Judi Dench.

A father-of-two who runs a consultancy business has lobbied MPs on an issue close to his heart thanks to the support of Dame Judi Dench and stars from a popular TV costume drama.

Keith Taylor, 45, from Pickenfield in Thame said he ‘did not think he could make such a difference’ after learning the issue of the illegal dog meat trade will now be debated in the House of Commons after he lobbied Parliament on the issue.

Mr Taylor learnt of the plight of dogs involved in the trade during a family holiday to Vietnam.

More than thirty million dogs are stolen and tortured to death across Asia to provide a dish which is illegal in restaurants.

Mr Taylor, helped by Shoshana Mitchard, a colleague at TPC Consulting, a retail consultancy firm which he co-founded contacted MPs including the Rt Hon John McDonnell for a meeting.

Mr Taylor said: “I then organised a briefing in Parliament and thought I would be lucky to get five MPs, but we actually got 38.”

Downton Abbey star Peter Egan, who plays the Marquess of Flintshire and Dame Judi Dench both attended the meeting in support.

More than 130 MPs signed a motion against the illegal dog trade and the issue will now be debated in the House of Commons at a date to be arranged.

Mr Taylor, whose twin sons Finn and Harrison, both 13, go to Lord Williams School said: “The main aim of all this is to try and stop dog cruelty.”