Yorkshire MPs share their Christmas 2021 messages: Thanks, hopes and plea to check on neighbours
The year began with a lengthy third lockdown as the vaccine rollout took place and is ending with widespread concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and a booster jab campaign combined with measures to reduce cases - albeit ones in England that do not go as far as those used in 2020 and earlier this year.
Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith said: “Christmas is a time for family and friends to come together yet some people in our community feel at their most lonely and isolated during this time of year.
"Even as this Christmas is set to be better than the last, I would encourage people across Skipton and Ripon and beyond to check on neighbours and friends, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.”
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater said: “I want to wish everybody a safe and peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
"Winter can be a difficult time for many people, especially the most vulnerable in society, and I worry that this winter is going to be tougher than it should be with the huge rise in the cost of living, taxes going up and benefits being cut.
“We have to look out for each other and so many of the amazing local community and support groups that I have visited are doing just that. They are working even harder than usual and they deserve all our thanks.”
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney said: “After yet another year of uncertainty, full of challenges and difficulties, I am once again struck by the spirit and resolution of our communities here in Yorkshire.
“The reason we are slowly getting back to normal is due to our world beating vaccine rollout, which has to be commended. So on that note, I would like to thank all our GPs, local pharmacies and volunteers for the brilliant work they have done in getting so many jabs in so many people’s arms. I have recently had my booster and I would urge you all to do the same.”
Local MPs have also taken the opportunity to thank key workers for their efforts this year.
Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss said: “I want to say thank you to my constituents, especially the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, emergency service workers, teachers, and all those who collect our bins, drive our buses, stock our shelves, and who through turbulent times have kept our country going.
"I hope all those who have worked so hard to keep us all safe and well over the last 20 months get the break they deserve over Christmas and that we’ll remain grateful to them for a long time to come.”
Doncaster Central MP and Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton said: “I wish all my constituents a very Happy Christmas after what has been a difficult time and thank all those in Doncaster who have worked so hard to give help and support to others in combatting the pandemic throughout the year.”
Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough MP Stuart Andrew said: “I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard in the constituency throughout this year, particularly those in all front line roles such as the NHS, emergency services, education and retail to name but a few.
"The many voluntary groups and volunteers also deserve significant praise for all they have done to help those in need. I very much hope we will all have the opportunity to enjoy a joyous, peaceful, and restful Christmas with our friends and loved ones.”
Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper wished her constituents “the happiest of Christmases”.
She added: “This year has been tough for many people and Christmas is a chance for us all to come together and celebrate with the people we love. I hope everybody has a safe and warm festive season, and wish everyone the best for 2022.”
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “I wish all my constituents a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from myself and my team. I look forward to continuing my campaign for a fairer deal for the North in 2022.”
Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis said: “2021 has been a difficult year for many families both here in the constituency and across the UK.
“Individuals have made personal sacrifices and faced distressing decisions – all in a common effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and regain a sense of normality. 2021 has also been the year we have fought back against this terrible virus.
“The successful delivery of vaccines by our phenomenal and hardworking NHS staff, and other effective treatments has enabled us to start returning to normal and focus on rebuilding the economy.
“On a more personal level, Christmas is a time for friends and family. But it is also a time for showing generosity and compassion to those less fortunate. We must remember those we have lost this year and pay tribute to the individuals who have worked flat out to keep the country moving.
“I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2022.”
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said he wanted to “wish everyone all the best for a traditional family Christmas, without the restrictions and absences of last year”.
He added: “Residents can be reassured I will continue to work on their behalf to ensure everyday life can continue safely without the threat of renewed restrictions with every change in the virus picture.
“The rollout of vaccine boosters and third doses should also be a source of optimism for 2022, as it suggests we are close to fine tuning our response, so we can live normally under an evolving vaccine shield.”
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