The species, Liebore Politicus Competentus, was thought by scientists to have just a few living specimens hiding in the back-benches of the Palace of Westminster. However, research and genetic tests have now shown that the species came perilously close to destruction in the 1950's, with the last pure example believed to have been Aneurin Bevan. The final extinction seems to have come in the mid-1990's.
David Attenborough, who has been acting as patron and spokesman for the research, said, "'Politicus Competentus' was always a rare breed, able to make intelligent decisions for the wider good rather than for its own survival. The 'Liebore' strain of the species was even less frequently seen, and we can now conclusively say that it's completely extinct".
He added, "The species was taken over by a parasite identified as 'NuLabia Taxspendia Moronicae' - but we're fairly certain that will also be extinct by the middle of 2010".
It is believed that the species died out after a surfeit of expenses resulted in a radical change in their diet. Further damage was done following an outbreak of Foot Disease in the early 1980s, before the species eventually died out completely in the Blairitis pandemic of 2004.
Previously, scientists had thought there was a still-living throwback in Dennis Skinner MP, however it has now been shown that he is the last-living example of the species 'Loonyleftus Loudmouthae' thought to have been around in the time of the dinosaurs.
The researchers are now turning their attentions to the other side of the House, where they are hoping against hope to find some proof that 'Toryae Politicus Competentus' is still alive.
(Published in 'The Tart', 12 January 2009.)