Christmas offers ‘promise of a brighter future’, Sunak says – as party leaders deliver messages


Rishi Sunak has urged people to focus on “the promise of a brighter future” – as party leaders delivered their Christmas messages.

The prime minister said Christmas was “a time of hope” but it was important to remember “those facing a difficult time”.

Mr Sunak, who is a Hindu, highlighted the “Christian values at the heart of this celebration of Christ’s birth”.

He said: “Christmas is a time of peace, joy, compassion. A time of hope and a promise of a better world.

“And today as we look ahead, let’s keep that promise of a brighter future burning into the new year.”

Mr Sunak said it was a “magical time of the year” and thanked NHS staff, police and the armed forces for “sacrificing their Christmases this year in the service of others”.

The Christmas message came between strikes by junior doctors in England, with the longest walkout in NHS history due to begin on 3 January.

More on Christmas

Mr Sunak will call a general election in 2024 as the Tories try to hold on to power, with opinion polls currently suggesting a healthy Labour lead.

Sir Keir Starmer on a visit to the Tapa NATO forward operating base in Estonia
Sir Keir Starmer on a visit to a NATO base in Estonia

‘Love and peace are always worth advocating for’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer used his message to say the story of Jesus was a reminder that “in times of darkness and despair, hope, love and peace are always worth advocating for”.

He said: “Throughout the Christmas period, we see the bonds of kinship rekindled as families and friends share in the joy, the hope and the optimism that Christmas provides.

“For Christians the world over, this is a time to rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ – God’s son.

“The birth of Jesus Christ brings light into our world and reminds us that in times of darkness and despair, hope, love and peace are always worth advocating for.

“Charity, humility and selflessness take centre stage in the Christmas story – and this season serves as a reminder that these qualities should be a guiding light for all of us.”

He thanked the NHS, Royal Mail workers, military personnel, retail and hospitality staff for their work over Christmas, and praised the “generosity of churches and charities”.

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Meanwhile, in his message, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “We hold in our hearts those less fortunate than ourselves.

“And to those who, this year, are without loved ones over Christmas.”

And Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf said the cost of living crisis would also affect people’s Christmases.

“Christmas is a special time of year where people gather with their loved ones,” he said. “However, I know for many people – many families in Scotland – it has been a challenging year.

“And as we come together over the festive period, the cost of living will be on many people’s minds.”

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