Leaders praise for emergency services in their Christmas messages

First Minister surrounded by excited children at Bute House
First Minister surrounded by excited children at Bute House

SCOTLAND’S POLITICAL LEADERS have been providing their Christmas wishes with particular emphasis on the armed services, police and emergency services.

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale paid tribute to “those who do so much for our country” in her first Christmas message as leader of the opposition at the Scottish Parliament.

“We pay tribute to our armed forces, particularly those involved in conflict right now,” Ms Dugdale said, adding: “No matter our view of the decisions of government leaders, no one can be in any doubt the bravery of those who serve our country.

“Those who work in our emergency services will also keep our hospitals open and streets safe in the next few weeks. They quietly go about their business all year round without much fuss – now is the time to show our appreciation.”

Tory leader Ruth Davidson said her thoughts were with those in particular who had suffered bereavement. She said: “Thousands across Scotland and the UK face difficulty on a daily basis, and if you are lonely, worried about your job, your marriage or relationship is in difficulty or you are suffering a bereavement, far from being the best time of the year Christmas can be the hardest.

“I hope everyone can find time to enjoy themselves – but also to make these precious couple of phone calls or visits to those who, at this time of year, need to hear a friendly voice or see a familiar face.”

Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie highlighted Scotland’s “uplifting response” to the international refugee crisis and those suffering mental illness: “My plea is for everyone to reach out and offer a hand of friendship at what could be a difficult time in their lives – small gestures can make a huge difference.”

Scotland’s First Minister meanwhile issued a message from her official Bute House residence where she entertained a group of eight-year-old pupils from a local school. She said: “The sound of excited children around Bute House was a wonderful experience and there was no better opportunity to join with them and wish everyone a very happy Christmas.”

From the Editor

insideMoray is now going ‘off line’ for a few days – while we will keep an eye on things around Moray, my hope is that I will not need to report any major events until Monday, and that we all have a safe, quiet and enjoyable Christmas holiday.  I would like to thank all our readers for their support and wish you one and all a very Merry Christmas.