Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer send Christmas message tinged with sorrow over Covid loss

Boris Johnson delivers Christmas message to the nation

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Mr Johnson, 57, not known for holding strong religious beliefs, took a religious tone in his message and also suggested people to get jabbed against Covid as it is in line with Christ’s teaching. While addressing the nation ahead of the holiday, the PM said: “Getting jabbed not just for themselves, for ourselves, but for friends and family and everyone we meet.

“And that, after all, is the teaching of Jesus Christ, whose birth is at the heart of this enormous festival – that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

“And so let’s think of all those who are being good neighbours and thinking of others.

“All those in the NHS working over Christmas, our care workers, everyone involved in the incredible vaccination campaign.

“Those looking after people who have lost loved ones this year, and who would otherwise be on their own.

“The many thousands of people who are selflessly self-isolating to keep others safe from Covid.

“And though the time for buying presents is theoretically running out, there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country.

“And that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster. So that next year’s festivities are even better than this year’s.”

The strong message to get vaccinated against Covid comes as Britain is witnessing a sudden surge in the daily number of cases.

The latest figures suggest that a total of 119,789 new infections have been reported in the UK- the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.

After defying calls to impose more Covid curbs in England this week or immediately after Christmas, the Prime Minister declared in his Christmas message: “After two years of this pandemic, I can’t say that we are through it.

“How can I? When Omicron is surging, when we all know, we must together try to stop the spread of this new variant.

“We must test ourselves and take extra care when meeting elderly or vulnerable relatives.”

Calling on the nation to “raise our glasses to those who can’t be with us”, Mr Johnson also praised “the immense spirit of neighbourliness that the people of this country have shown”.

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In a similar message, Sir Keir Starmer said that as well as celebrating Christ’s birth, Christmas is also a time of reflection, lamenting: “Too many families have experienced unimaginable loss.

“For too many, there will be one less chair at the table for the Christmas meal. But, in the darkest of times, Christian values of kindness, of compassion and hope have shone through.”

In a short message, the Lib Dem leader, Sir Ed Davey, added: “Too many families are separated this Christmas. Too many are mourning the loss of a loved one.

“But the message of Christmas is one of hope, of a light to save us from darkness. Christians like me, believe that that hope, that light can sustain us through the darkest times.”

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