Cameron stresses his Christian values in his seasonal message

David Cameron has stressed his commitment to "Christian values" as he delivered his seasonal message to the country.
David Cameron has stressed his commitment to "Christian values" as he delivered his seasonal message to the country.
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David Cameron has stressed his commitment to “Christian values” as he delivered his seasonal message to the country.

The Prime Minister said “giving, sharing and taking care of others” at home and around the world was something Britain could be proud of.

In his Christmas message, Mr Cameron - the only one of the three main party leaders to describe himself as Christian - praised the work of the military, aid workers and medical volunteers abroad.

“Among the joyous celebrations we will reflect on those very Christian values of giving, sharing and taking care of others,” he said.

“This Christmas I think we can be very proud as a country at how we honour these values through helping those in need at home and around the world.

“On Christmas Day thousands of men and women in our armed forces will be far from home protecting people and entire communities from the threat of terrorism and disease.

“NHS doctors, nurses and other British volunteers will be in Ebola-affected countries, working selflessly to help stop this terrible disease from spreading further.

“And British aid workers will be helping citizens to rebuild countries and communities afflicted by conflict and poverty.

“Here at home thousands of police and fire officers, paramedics and other emergency service personnel will be working hard to keep the public safe and well.

“Across the country volunteers and workers from charities and other organisations will drop in on the vulnerable and elderly so they are not isolated this Christmas.

“And thousands of churches - whether in the smallest village or biggest city - will hold open their doors and welcome people of faith and none to give thanks and celebrate together.

“So this Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Christ with friends, families and neighbours, let us think about those in need at home and overseas, and of those extraordinary professionals and volunteers who help them.”

Mr Cameron came under fire for stoking “alienation and division” earlier this year when he insisted that Britain is a “Christian country”.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - a self proclaimed atheist - said that the “heart” of the Christmas festivities is “the birth of Jesus Christ, a time of joy and celebration for Christians around the world”.

The Christian values of love, charity and hope expressed through the story were “universal, speaking to and uniting people of all faiths and none”, he said.

The Liberal Democrat leader also took a leaf out of supermarket Sainsbury’s book by basing his message on the famous truce observed by soldiers in the First World War trenches 100 years ago.

In a possibly unintentional reminder of the current festive break in the political battle ahead of the brutal struggle of a general election year, Mr Clegg said the informal 1914 truce offered soldiers on both sides a “moment’s respite” from the violent conflict in which they were engaged.

“This Christmas and beyond, we can each do our bit to help secure the fairer, more peaceful world that the soldiers in 1914 longed for and our children deserve: reaching out to those people - wherever they may be - who feel isolated, who are caught up in conflict or who need our help,” he said.

Recorded at a west London primary school and posted on the DPM’s office website, Mr Clegg’s video message also included a thank you to the armed forces personnel, emergency services and carers working through the festive period to keep others safe and well.

Sainsbury’s faced criticism from some quarters after it featured a re-enactment of the 1914 truce in its pre-Christmas advertising.