May praises 'heroes' of UK terror attacks in Christmas message
London: British Prime Minister Theresa May today paid tribute to the country's "heroes" who helped victims of terrorist attacks and the fire at Grenfell Tower in London in her annual Christmas message.
She also urged Britons to take pride in the country's Christian heritage at Christmas.
"As we gather with our friends and family, I want to say thank you to all those whose service to others means they will be spending time away from their loved ones this Christmas," she said.
"The heroes in our emergency services, whose courage and dedication so inspired the nation in response to tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the abhorrent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. But whose service saves lives in our communities every day, including Christmas Day," she added.
The British Prime Minister, a regular church-goer and daughter of a vicar, also made a specific reference to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
She added: "Let us take pride in our Christian heritage and the confidence it gives us to ensure that in Britain you can practice your faith free from question or fear.
"Let us remember those around the world today who have been denied those freedoms from Christians in some parts of the Middle East to the sickening persecution of the Rohingya Muslims.
"This Christmas, whatever our faith, let us come together confident and united in the values we share."
In contrast, Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's Christmas message made little mention of religion as he said that Christmas was "a time of the year when we think about others".
He said: "We think about those who feel cut off and lonely. Many older citizens to whom we owe so much will be spending what should be a time of joy alone.
"We think of others such as carers who look after loved ones, people with disabilities or dementia."
Corbyn added that his thoughts were also with those "living in nations like Yemen, Syria and Libya in fear of bombs and bullets, of injury and death".