Theresa May pays tribute to ‘courage’ of Armed Forces in Christmas address
Theresa May has praised Britain’s troops as the “finest in the world” as she paid tribute to their role in the Salisbury attack and in fighting Islamic State.
In her Christmas message, the Prime Minister said the military's efforts in the aftermath of the “sickening” nerve agent attack on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal while taking on terrorism had made the country “proud”.
"This year, as we looked back to the sacrifices made by generations in the past, you continued to demonstrate why you are the finest in the world,” she said.
“From playing a vital role in cleaning up after a sickening nerve agent attack on the streets of Salisbury, protecting our waters and our skies from Russian intrusion and strengthening our allies in Eastern Europe, striking at terrorism as part of the global coalition against Daesh (Islamic State), and along with our US and French allies - sending a message to the Assad regime that we will not stand by while chemical weapons are used, as they were in April on families, including young children.
“Time and again, you have stood up to aggression and those who flout the rules based international order. You should be incredibly proud of all that you do - just as the whole country is proud of you.”
Mrs May also highlighted “significant milestones” of the last year, including the centenary of the end of the First World War and 100 years of the RAF.
“Now as we approach the new year, there will be new challenges ahead,” she added.
“But I know you will continue to meet them in the same way that you have always done.
“With courage, determination, resilience, ingenuity. Qualities that are as vital now as they have ever been.”
Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to those who act as “Good Samaritans” during the festive period, by volunteering at homeless shelters and foodbanks.
Citing the New Testament parable, he said: “Jesus said that some ‘walked by on the other side’ but eventually a Samaritan stopped, tended to his wounds and offered him a bed for the night.”
“I see the compassion of the Good Samaritan in people across our country everyday but especially at Christmas.
“Whether it’s people helping in homeless shelters offering comfort and meals for those looking to escape the freezing temperatures and dangers of sleeping rough.
“Those ensuring food banks are fully stocked for people who can’t afford to eat properly this Christmas.
“Or volunteers raising money for refugees who’ve been forced to flee war, oppression and devastation.
“These are people who will not “walk by on the other side”. They do what’s become so necessary in a system that is failing to provide for people’s basic needs.
“They embody what’s best and most compassionate in all of us. They make me certain that we can build a fairer society which works for everyone.
Watch Mr Corbyn's address below: