Don’t argue with in-laws on Christmas, says Boris Johnson in special message
Buoyed by a landslide win in the December 12 election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday struck an optimistic note in his Christmas message, ending with an appeal: “Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws, or anyone else”.
Johnson’s Christmas message did not mention politics or Brexit, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – in his likely last such message as party leader – rued defeat in the elections. Labour is expected to elect its new leader in early 2020.
Corbyn said: “This has been a difficult year for many of us. We didn’t succeed in delivering the change that so many people so desperately need. But Christmas is a chance to listen, reflect and remember all the things that bind us together: our compassion, our determination to tackle injustice and our hope for a better world.”
Christmas, he said, is a time of year when “the scale of injustice and inequality is in very plain sight…While we celebrate being together, we are reminded of the many who will be alone and sadly lonely at Christmas.”
Johnson also touched on injustice with his message dwelling on the persecution of Christians in various countries, recently highlighted by a report by the Bishop of Truro for the Foreign Office.
He said: “Today of all days, I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell”.
“As Prime Minister, that’s something I want to change. We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and will defend your right to practice your faith. So as a country let us reflect on the year, and celebrate the good that is to come”.
Queen Elizabeth did not mention Brexit or issues faced by members of the royal family during the year, but said in her message: “The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference.”
“By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost,” she said in her message recorded in the Windsor Castle.