Liberal Democrat acting leader, Ed Davey, has used his Christmas message to highlight the importance of love and hope over the festive period.
Davey highlights that, even in darker times, love, joy and hope remain possible and that the teachings and values of Christianity still speak so powerfully to us all.
He revealed that his daughter has asked for a live unicorn for Christmas, quipping that he was going to ring the prime minister for advice. “Apparently Mr Johnson does a good line in unicorns,” he tells viewers.
The acting Lib Dem leader, who will celebrate his birthday on Christmas morning, drew upon his faith by urging people to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’.
“You don’t actually have to believe in Jesus to recognise that for Christians, Christmas has a deep, profound meaning,” he explained, as he talked about the birth of his first born.
“So this Christmas – let’s have hope. And joy. And love,” he says. And in a coded reference to Brexiteers, he adds: “And let’s love all our neighbours. Even those who believe in unicorns.”
Meanwhile Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have paid tribute to NHS staff and other public servants working through the holidays in their annual Christmas messages.
While the two leaders both praised the efforts of those who were putting their celebrations on hold to look after others, the tone of their messages could hardly be more different.
The prime minister, still basking in his general election triumph, began his video with a jaunty: “Hi folks, Boris Johnson here, taking a moment to wish you all a merry little Christmas”.
And he signed off breezily, urging people to enjoy the next few days, adding: “Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws – or anyone else.”
In contrast, Corbyn, in what will almost certainly be his last Christmas message as Labour leader, reflected ruefully on his catastrophic defeat while expressing his hope for a “better world”.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Corbyn said it was a time of year the when “the scale of injustice and inequality is in very plain sight” and he praised those working in food banks and emergency shelters, helping the less fortunate.
“While we celebrate being together, we are reminded of the many who will be alone and sadly lonely at Christmas,” he said.
“But our communities are built on generosity and the solidarity that comes from that.
“So we do not walk by on the other side.”