Keir Starmer Says Ukraine's 'Struggle For Freedom Inspires Us All' In Christmas Message

The Labour leader also acknowledged the struggles facing people at home, but promised: "Things will get better."
Keir Starmer said he was "keeping in my heart all those who are working to keep us safe".
Keir Starmer said he was "keeping in my heart all those who are working to keep us safe".
The Labour Party

Keir Starmer has dedicated his annual Christmas message to the people of Ukraine, saying their “struggle for freedom inspires us all”.

The Labour leader paid tribute to the Ukrainian people, whom he said were still facing “the horror of Putin’s attacks” 10 months on from the start of the Russian invasion.

Starmer also acknowledged the difficulties facing those at home, as the cost of living crisis enters its most acute phase.

“Christmas helps us remember that through the hard times and the good, the people and the moments that give our lives meaning stay constant,” he said.

“For so many people in Britain, life is tough at the moment.

“But Christmas is a reminder that we will endure, that things will get better.”

The Labour leader’s tribute to Ukraine comes as its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attempts to maintain international support for his country’s war effort against Russia.

On Wednesday the Ukrainian president visited the White House where he secured a new £1.49 billion package of military aid.

US president Joe Biden said he wanted Ukraine to emerge from the war “free, independent, prosperous and secure”, but he acknowledged that Putin was using the winter months as a “weapon: freezing people, starving people”.

Zelenskyy returned to Kyiv to find that Russia had launched a new wave of strikes across eastern and southern fronts of Ukraine, including the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region and Lyman in the neighbouring Luhansk.

But the president nevertheless struck a defiant tone, saying: “We will overcome everything.”

Starmer ended his Christmas by saying he was looking forward to spending time with his family.

“But as I do I will keeping in my heart all those who are working to keep us safe,” he said.

“Those looking after the less fortunate, and our friends in Ukraine, facing the horror of Putin’s appalling attacks.

“Their struggle for freedom inspires us all.”

Meanwhile, prime minister Rishi Sunak made surprise calls to public servants across the world to wish them a happy Christmas.

He said: “Whether you are working in Mogadishu or Milton Keynes this Christmas, I want you to know that I am personally grateful for your sacrifice.

“This year has been an extraordinary year for so many reasons, but most of all, it’s been a year in which the true spirit and resilience of the United Kingdom has been on show, from the support given to our Ukrainian friends, to the work being done to ensure essential aid reaches the most vulnerable overseas.

“And closer to home, those who have checked on friends and neighbours, volunteers, public servants and essential service staff all working over Christmas – I am truly humbled by your dedication and I know your selflessness this festive season will spread cheer across the country.”


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